True Places by Sonja Yoerg

True PlacesTrue Places by Sonja Yoerg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It took me forever to read this book, due to personal reasons. In fact, it’s the only book I’ve read in print all fall, though I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks. Typically, I devour a book within a day, but I experienced a health hiccup this fall that made reading a physical book a more challenging activity than usual, for various reasons. That meant I frequently took breaks while reading this, sometimes for weeks at a time, depending on my current state of health.

Under the circumstances, I crept my way through this story, which actually worked out great, because it’s so distinct. Yoerg does such a great job of creating a strong sense of place and memorable characters that it stuck with me, no matter how many days I took off between reading sessions. I was always able to pick it back up and jump right into the story, which would not have been the case with many other novels.

My current plan is to buy the audible book on release day, so I can go back and listen to this story straight through, since that’s one of my favorite ways to consume stories.

Now, enough about me, let’s talk about how much I love this story. It’s like when it comes to words, Yoerg can do no wrong. She creates complex relationships that are difficult and evolve, and because they are never simple or easy, they feel real in ways that some stories can’t deliver. They are never stereotypical or idealized. She has a real grasp for what makes people tick, and it’s so gorgeous to watch these characters evolve.

The concept is captivating: girl stumbles out of the woods, starving and ill, and has no understanding of the modern American suburban lifestyles.

This story unfolds around a recurring theme of botany, so all fellow science and plant nerds, as well as those with brown thumbs who wish they were plant nerds, and even those who aren’t sure they like plants at all but can keep an open mind, will likely find that fascinating.

This story is the intermingling of two different types of existence: materialism versus idealism, suburbanites versus survivalists, wealth versus poverty, appearances versus realities, and even confidence versus comfort zones. As these collide, the characters are left to either adjust and seek balance, or to learn to accept their different extremes, which makes for an interesting read.

At the heart of this story is a reminder that what we want may not always be what we really need, and something even more important to consider is that we can’t expect to get what we need from others, if we don’t bother to ask or fight for what we need for ourselves.

This was another gem, and as far as I’m concerned, Yoerg is one of those authors who consistently produces excellent work, regardless of topic.

Book 419 read in 2018

Pages: 347

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