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Solomon's Oak

(Solomon's Oak #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,463 ratings  ·  394 reviews
Solomon's Oak is the story of three people who have suffered losses that changed their lives forever.

Glory Solomon, a young widow, holds tight to her memories while she struggles to hold on to her Central California farm. She makes ends meet by hosting weddings in the chapel her husband had built under their two-hundred-year-old white oak tree, known locally as Solomon's O
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA (first published 2010)
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3.76  · 
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 ·  2,463 ratings  ·  394 reviews

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Dec 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Against the backdrop of a gorgeous Central California Coastal town, this story begins with an historic moment in the past: a man, his wife, and his daughter are set to partake of the golden riches of the new land when tragedy strikes in the form of a swollen Nacimiento River.

From there we open on another world, in another century, and a woman named Glory Solomon, whose life and joy have centered on this land and near this huge white oak tree named Solomon's Oak. Here she had shared a wonderful t
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was an enjoyable book, except for the lame use of Spanish all over the book. The Spanish that many of the characters used in between their sentences was wrong. I don't mean that it wasn't proper Spanish, I mean that it was painfully obvious that the author AND the editors had no knowledge whatsoever of Spanish. This made the reading very annoying for me, being bilingual.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookshelf
Original review found at:

I enjoyed reading this book, but I thought I would enjoy it more. It is an easy, well written novel that follows the lives of three individuals whose lives intertwine in interesting ways.

Glory Solomon is a widow coming up on the first anniversary of her late husband’s death. She is asked by a couple if they can have their wedding at the chapel that her husband finished building shortly before his death. She accepts after she d
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mapson is an author I turn to like comfort food when I get tired of rich fare. Her chaaracters are real people with flaws, ones you can love and appreciate.

In Solomon's Oak, Glory is a grieving widow whose's part-time job at Target might provide just enough money to get by--if she didn't take in strays. Glory and her husband of ten years had fostered teenaged boys, whome they loved and sent on their way better prepared for life. She also fosters dogs, that she loves and trains for a permanent h
Oct 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Another beautiful book from Jo-Ann Mapson! Solomon's Oak is an ancient white oak, growing in California, where no white oak should be able to grow. When Glory Solomon is widowed at an early age she unwittingly becomes its caretaker. Her new foster daughter, Juniper, arrives just as Glory is hosting her first wedding in the chapel her husband built under its branches. Close on Juniper's heels comes Joesph, an injured cop who is there to photograph the famous tree. Together, the three of them will ...more
Feb 16, 2012 rated it liked it
A book about famliy dynamics and the forming of new relationships. The theme of abuse and abduction of children nearly hit the limit of my comfort level, but I did manage to finish the book.
Also need the authors recipe for twice-baked potato casserole!
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
loved this book. I couldn't put it down ..well written, realistic ending, very engaging. I stayed up late to read it and got ul early to read it. looking forward to reading more from this author
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a nice easy book to read and I enjoyed it.
Regina Spiker
Solomon's Oak - the words alone invoke strength and character...photographers come from miles away to capture the beauty of the lovely, huge White oak that sits on Solomon's farm in California, where White Oaks should never grow. Glory Solomon, now a widow, owns the farm where once her and her beloved husband took in foster boys and taught them to be kind, responsible men. Now alone with only her horses and dogs, Glory is faced with the dilemma of possibly losing the farm. On top of all this wor ...more
Oct 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. First of all, I fell in love with the idea of Solomon's Oak being a tree that was not expected to live, let alone flourish for hundreds of years in their area. I absolutely adored the character of Glory Solomon since, like me, shoe loves animals. She has three dogs who she rescued and has trained to help her out on the farm. She also has s couple of horses. She is grieving the loss of her husband of twenty years. Now she wishes that they had children of their own in a ...more
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really found Jo-Ann Mapson's book Solomon's Oak to be a great read. The characters are wonderfully developed and the struggles rang true. Glory is struggling through her first year as a widow and adjusting to her new realities and trying to start a new business. She becomes a sole foster mother, a role she has extensive experience in while she was married but this time the child is a girl and she is going it alone. Juniper, the foster child has a voice that rings true for children who have see ...more
Mar 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Liked the characters - a new widow, a foster child, a retired policeman - great relationships.

Glory Solomon, a young widow, holds tight to her memories while she struggles to hold on to her Central California farm. Fourteen-year-old Juniper McGuire is the lone survivor of a family decimated by her sister's disappearance. She arrives on Glory's doorstep, pierced, tattooed, angry, and homeless. When Glory's husband Dan was alive, they took in foster children, but Juniper may be more than she can
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jo-Ann Mapson is one of my favorite authors.
The plot of this book was slow to develop, but once it got started it was another great story.
Glory Solomon is a recent widow. She and her husband had ran a small farm and raised foster boys, among other things. In one of their meadows is a big, old, beautiful oak tre...Solomon's oak. Glory's husband had built a small chapel before he died. Someone asks if they have their wedding there and thus begins a new business for Glory. During the first wedd
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
The characters were wonderful--almost too good to be true. And the plot was compelling, though there were probably too many coincidences, such as the fact that the heroine becomes the foster mother to the sister of a missing person whose dog lives at Solomon's Oak. And how did she become a foster mother without going through months of red tape, especially in California?
I have enjoyed other books by this author, but somehow the writing wasn't quite good enough to rate 4 stars. It had a thrown-tog
Aug 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished reading Solomon's Oak this evening, and on the whole I did enjoy the story. The story is pretty slow to start, with a gentle introduction to each character, and although the pace never becomes particularly fast, the characters develop wonderfully.

Although recommended by Jodi Picoult, Jo-Ann Mapson's writing and style is really not similar to Picoult at all. This didn't put me off, but some readers may be looking for a similar genre and be disappointed.

The three main characters; Glor
Lynn Pribus
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
A Hallmark-ish book with few surprises and unexciting writing. I was tempted to quit, but there was a cattle dog in it and I'm a cattle dog fan. A 15-y-o girl whose sister disappeared (while with said dog) some years ago is placed with a widow (of 8-9 months) who fostered boys while her husband was living.

She herself has an antagonistic relationship with her own sister and I was constantly annoyed that, although she kept the needy girl, she was terribly inept handling her. She never once agreed
Kirsten Feldman
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Solomon's Oak in three lines. Jo-Ann Mapson beautifully, if slowly and often predictably, maps the spaces between Glory, a recent, struggling widow, and Juniper, her happenstance foster daughter, as deftly as she fills out their piecemeal lives on a California ranch. The titular tree, which shouldn't even grow in that part of the country, never mind for over two hundred years, anchors the story that undulates around it, collecting oddball and stalwart characters as treasures and trash catch in i ...more
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars
A struggling young widow, an abandoned and angry teenager, and a former police officer who is losing his battle with his physical and emotional pain find that their lives have become entwined as each seeks to heal themselves and find some peace.
This story had a great premise and a lot of potential, but it was mostly unmet. The plot seemed a little disjointed, the narrative often seemed stilted and characters not fully realized. There was just something missing, and I found myself turni
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-esque
I really enjoy this author typically but this book was a bit of a mess. It read like an early draft. The perspectives shifted rapidly and randomly, with no over-all consistency (example, the "reports" and the final few interjections from Juniper). I'm also not a huge fan of characters from other books making very forced and unnatural cameos. It had a lot of potential, as the story itself was solid and interesting, but it just wasn't quite there.
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book told from three varying perspectives, a young widow, and ex-cop photographer, and an abandoned teenager. It's a touching, but not sappy, story of how their lives became intertwined and move toward healing. I'd give it 4 1/2 stars if I could.
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well worth the read. I've had this for a long time, don't know why it took me so long to read it!
Ed Goddard
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Most excellent book. Good character portrayal. I would rate this a 6 out of 5 if that was possible.
Ann Miller
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
The story and writing are deep, true, and beautiful--moving at a glacial pace. An excellent read for the savoring reader. Juniper as the broken teen especially shines.
Becki Basley
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I feel this book is a tribute to foster parents who have the tenacity, strength, and genuine love of the children in their care. However, it doesn't paint a rosy picture of the challenges the parents face nor does it give a watered down perspective of the real trauma that the child endures and the scars this placed on them. I feel this book is one of survival and endurance on all the main characters so it's very appropriate to compare them to the oak tree.

The only part I had an issue with was at
D.j. Lang
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Easy to read. Fits the definition of a novel (according to Oxford online). Ends as expected in one way, in two other ways, it does not (won't explain why so as not to spoil the ending if you have not read it). Starts off like a Christian romance novel but turns out that it is not. Writing is good, details are good and realistic. I know the area so that was a plus. I have a longer review on my blog if you want to see more:

I'm not going to buy the book so
Kelly Gladney
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For me, Jo-Ann Mapson books are like comfort food. I always want to live in them and be friends with her characters. It's not all rosy, but there is still something about her worlds that make me want to be a part of them. Somehow I had read both the somewhat sequels to this book and had really wanted to read this one. I guess I really wish I was the Glory character despite her hardships. Now I feel like I need to go back and read the other two to refresh my memory on what happened to these peopl ...more
Avid Series Reader
Solomon's Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson is set in contemporary Central California farm country. A touching story of how 3 people overcome by loss eventually aid each other, recovering and reinventing their lives.

After her beloved husband's unexpected death, Glory Solomon is struggling not only with grief, but to keep her home. To meet essential expenses, she agrees to host an unconventional pirate-theme wedding at her farm.

Glory's friend, a social caseworker, brings teenage Jennifer to Glory "for only
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Here is another feel good book for a summer read. This is the story of a young widow, a former cop, a foster child, and foster dogs. The ending is positive. The book is not a great work of literature, but it has a good story and some good themes. I love the idea that dogs will help people recover from traumatic times. Also. the most important "thing" that you can give a child is unconditional love. Need to feel good and see others giving to others? This is a summer read for you! Quick read.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-books
Years ago I read several Mapson books and found them engaging for the most part. So I decided to read another of her books. Unfortunately, I found Solomon's Oak predictable and cliched. Very much like a Hallmark film.

I wonder now, if I went back and reread Mapson, I would find that true of her other books?
Erin Clark
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Three unlikely and broken people are able to come together and create a safe place for healing their souls. It is funny, touching and ultimately very satisfying. I also really liked the way the author used animals as part the emotional healing process for the characters. I look forward to reading more by this author. Highly recommended!
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New publication?? 1 4 Jun 01, 2014 10:59PM  

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Jo-Ann Mapson, a third generation Californian, grew up in Fullerton as a middle child with four siblings. She dropped out of college to marry, but later finished a creative writing degree at California State University, Long Beach. Following her son's birth in 1978, Mapson worked an assortment of odd jobs teaching horseback riding, cleaning houses, typing resumes, and working retail. After earning ...more

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