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House of Diamonds

(A Mormon Family Saga #2)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In this sequel to Gowen's debut novel, UNCUT DIAMONDS, she follows sisters Cindy and Marcie as they reach a crossroads in their lives. Marcie pursues her dream of becoming a published writer while Cindy faces a terrible tragedy. Through faith, loss and the transcending nature of sacrifice, Marcie and Cindy must learn the incredible power that comes to families when they pu ...more
Paperback, First, 198 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by WiDo Publishing (first published October 15th 2011)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  55 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Jennifer Lane
Aug 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Two Families Healing Through Faith

Karen Jones Gowan has been quite supportive of authors, and it was my pleasure to review the advance reader copy of her novel House of Diamonds. This novel is a follow-up to Uncut Diamonds, which I haven’t read. As I understand, this novel isn’t necessarily a sequel but follows the lives of the same characters, sisters Marcie and Cindy.

The story’s blurb says Two sisters, one facing opportunity, the other tragedy. Marcie, the mother of seven children, has alway
Talli Roland
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
House of Diamonds follows two sisters. One is on her way to achieving her dream of being a writer, despite the chaos in her busy household and her frequently absent husband. The other is struggling to keep it together whilst her newborn clings to life in the hospital. Author Karen Jones Gowen plunges readers into the daily details of each household, holding us at close range and never letting go. The intensity of emotion -- from frustration and fear to joy and faith -- is palpable throughout.

Jessica Bell
Nov 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
You do not need to be a Mormon to enjoy this book. Nor do you need to believe in a religion of any kind. You do not even need to be a mother, or have experienced taking care of a sick child, or even have a dream you are struggling to achieve. You do not need to be any of these things to become solidly immersed in this story. Why? Because this book makes you feel like you are IN the story and experiencing the lives of these everyday, small-town, mothers, as if you were somehow wearing their skins ...more
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommended to Karen by:
Why did I write House of Diamonds? Because I wanted to tell this story:

When the lives of two sisters take a much different course than expected

When one sister is on the verge of realizing her lifelong dream and the other faces a terrible tragedy

To give a voice to a beloved baby who had none

To show the incredible power that comes to families when they pull together to overcome challenges. At these times, a house of pain can become a house of diamonds.

I am grateful to my sister for the use of her
Nicki Elson
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
The scene that gives the book its title is gorgeous, not just for the scene itself, but for how it applies to the whole story. House of Diamonds is a candid look into the mind of a woman attempting to balance all the parts of her life — children, husband, faith, needs of her extended family, and her own desire to write. It’s not a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of tale, but one that moves along at the steady pace of a real life.

I think anyone who's had kids will be able to relate to Marcie's
Kerri Cuevas
Sep 08, 2011 rated it liked it
House of Diamonds is a sincere story that will pull at your heartstrings and remind you just how precious life is. It follows sisters Marci McGill, as she raises seven children while trying to attain success in her writing, and Cindy, who is confronting an illness that leaves her young son fighting for his life.

This family goes through inconceivable heartbreak, yet, perseveres through their faith in God and the strength they find within each other. I laughed when the McGill’s were happy and I cr
Kate Palmer
Oct 26, 2011 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book. It’s not escapist fare, but rather a slice of life–a realistic slice of LDS family life. I enjoyed it more than the prequel Uncut Diamonds. In an interview I did with Karen, she said she planned on being more plot-driven in her next novel. She delivered on this promise. I like how she alternated chapters to bring out two different plot lines.

The main character Marcie is LDS, has seven young children, and aspires to writing a novel. I think any busy mom with a dream could rela
Karen Walker
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
House of Diamonds, by Karen Jones Gowen...a review

Usually, a novel has one protagonist the reader can focus on. You follow their journey step by step, wondering what they will do, what will happen to them. You can’t wait to turn the page to find out.

In Karen Gowen’s novel, House of Diamonds, it felt like there were four: Marcie, the mother of seven who secretly yearns to be a writer; Cindy, her sister, whose baby has a brain tumor; Baby Jordan, who has the brain tumor, and the Mormon Faith, whic
Michelle Fayard
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Something is wrong with Marcie McGill’s six-month-old nephew, Jordan. He can’t keep food down. He’s often unresponsive. And his head is too large for his body.

Marcie’s sister Cindy and her husband are pretending everything will be all right. They can’t afford another crisis, not with Cindy’s husband forced to go on strike by his teachers’ union.

Then Jordan is diagnosed with a brain tumor, and the family’s world turns upside down before coming together in an even stronger circle of love.

Set in th
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Well, since I am Cindy, mother of Jordan the baby in this touching book, I ready with my heart and my memory and was transported back to those days so many years ago. Karen truly captured the pain I went through but also the tender mercies experienced throughout this experience. I cried, I laughed and I rejoiced as two sisters learned more about faith, family and letting go. ONe had to let go of her precious baby, the other of her dream of writing for a while. Both of them did so with grace and ...more
Clarissa Draper
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-literature
I really liked this book, as I liked the first book she wrote. It touched me, especially the situation with the baby. I couldn't put it down until I knew what happened with that boy. The only problem I had was the same with the first book, I couldn't wrap my head around some of the Mormon terminology. I could relate to Marcie as she struggles to find time to pursue her love of writing, even after hearing harsh criticism from her writing group. Karen is a very supportive writer, support her back: ...more
Amy Saia
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another engrossing book by Karen Gowen. I don't think I've ever read a family story without murder or sex or some sort of dysfunction and still found myself glued to every page. I enjoyed the honesty of Marcie's narrative; she's a sympathetic character with enough faults to sustain a curious interest in her daily activities. The author did a very good job of pacing the story between Marcie's hectic life of house full of children, and her sister's life with a terminally ill baby. To break some of ...more
Carol Kilgore
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Karen Jones Gowen's House of Diamonds is a from-the-heart story about the bonds of sisterhood and the importance of family. Gowen skillfully interweaves the stories of sisters Marcie and Cindy as they deal with both sorrow and happiness in their lives. House of Diamonds is also a story about love and faith.

Marcie has seven children - just seeing how that works on a daily basis was eye-opening, as my family is small. The story is about a Mormon family, and their faith plays a daily role in their
Lynda Young
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
While this is not the sort of book I would normally read, I found the characters compelling and real. I read the book in two days, which for me is fast. It's a quiet book--no over the top angst, no surprise twists, no explosions--but this is part of the story's charm. It's a real life story with real life issues. It's honest. Well worth the read.

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Born and raised in central Illinois, Karen attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She transferred to Brigham Young University, where she met her husband Bruce, and there graduated with a degree in English and American Literature.

Karen and Bruce have lived in Utah, Illinois, California and Washington, currently residing in Panajachel, Gu

Other books in the series

A Mormon Family Saga (2 books)
  • Uncut Diamonds