Solomon's OakToday I finished reading Solomon’s Oak, a beautiful novel by Jo-Ann Mapson. Solomon’s Oak introduces us to three characters who have each suffered loss: Glory, a recent widow struggling to keep her California farm; Juniper, a foster teen haunted by a family tragedy; and Joseph, a former police officer who bears the scars of a drug bust gone deadly. To earn some money, Glory agrees to host a pirate-themed wedding at the chapel her husband had built, and the events of that day set in motion a slow and sometimes painful process of the kind of healing that can come only through human connection.

I have always loved stories that weave together the lives of disparate characters, perhaps because my experience has been that this is how life really happens much of the time, at least the most interesting parts of life (I was also surprised to find a homeschooling aspect of the story!). Jo-Ann Mapson explains more about the characters of her novel in this trailer:

When I turned the last page, I felt as though I had just wrapped my arms around an old, strong oak tree, with all its life and rings of memory and continued growth.

Read Caroline Leavitt’s interview with Jo-Ann Mapson.