booklady's Reviews > North of Hope

North of Hope by Jon Hassler
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Feb 08, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, classic, fiction, historical-fiction, literature, favorites
Read from March 30 to April 09, 2011

Some of the best parts of the book are found in the quiet little corners, humorous or profound asides where ordinary people are allowed their thoughts, musings or dreams.

One particularly poignant scene involves, ‘Loving-Kindness’, the actual nick-name of the aging monsignor, who mistakenly answers a phone call from a woman not meant for him. Their conversation is at cross-purposes and priceless. Hassler is the master of innocent little gems where characters are both touched but not in the way either intended and yet you sense it is exactly the way Someone Else did. They tend to be subtle and the careful reader is well-rewarded.

I also loved the fast moving dialogue, the distinct and varied personalities, the synchronization of events and especially the harsh setting of the vast Northern landscape, which almost seems to take on a life of its own, sometimes silent, other times stormy, yet ever present.

Although initially I was intimidated by the book's size, once I got into it, I wanted it to be even thicker. Well, let us be honest, I hoped I could stay there, that the book would never end. Very absorbing read.


Wow this book is THICK! Ha! I must be getting old ... judging my books by size rather than by content.

Updated for grammar: November 16, 2017
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Reading Progress

04/03/2011 page 301
01/07/2017 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Jaye (new)

Jaye I love thick books if they're good. A short, good book seems to end too soon.

One of the reasons I love Fr. Elijah so much!

booklady I do too ... when I have more time. Lately though I seem to be in too much of a rush. (sigh)

message 3: by Wanda (new)

Wanda Oh I so need a book like this. Thank you for the review!

booklady I must warn you that it is sad in parts...

Terry Southard My favorite author.

booklady Good one to have as a favorite!

message 7: by Joaquin (new) - added it

Joaquin Mejia So the book is about a priest? That means I'm going to read it. I also need to read "Silence" and "Edge of Sadness" then.

booklady Yes, and it is a beautiful story, a true love story. Just thinking about it makes me want to read it again. Hassler is an amazing author and his novels explore the priesthood from the inside, though he wasn't a priest, but what I mean by that is he was always sympathetic to his priest characters. He didn't ever portray them as types, or non-persons. All of his priests were real human men, fallible, but with hearts that loved, knew joy, hope, despair, hurt, rejection and wanted to be loved. Yes, those other books you mention are good too.

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