- Fizzy Thoughts: The Laws of Harmony

The Laws of Harmony

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The Laws of Harmony
Judith Ryan Hendricks
February 2009
496 pages

When I read Bread Alone I wanted so bad to go to Seattle. With The Laws of Harmony, once again I want to return to Washington. This time to the San Juan Islands. And I'm not picky, I'll take any of 'em.

Soleil, aka Sunny, Cooper grew up on a commune in New Mexico. Longing for normalcy, she flees to college in Albuquerque as soon as she can. Years later, she's doing voice-over work and baking brownies for living. When her boyfriend Michael dies in mysterious circumstances, Sunny finds herself under siege from angry investors and curious cops. Spurred on by bad memories and the I Ching, she flees to San Miguel Island, Washington. There, in the tiny town of Harmony, Sunny learns to accept help from kindly people and rebuilds her life.

Hendricks intersperses Sunny's current story with important memories of her childhood at Armonia, the commune where she was born and raised. A commune that had a five-seater outhouse! We only had a two-seater. No, I didn't grow up on a commune, but I did live in a barn and use an outhouse for awhile. And my mom cooked on a wood-cook stove. So while my childhood in no way resembled Sunny's, there were a few things that vaguely reminiscent of growing up in the wilds of Oregon with wanna-be hippies for parents.

Okay, enough about outhouses. I loved this book, but I also loved Bread Alone. If you are a fan of Hendricks, I'd say run out and grab this one.

10 comment(s):

Stephanie said...

I am 3/4 of the way through this book and am really enjoying it. Even though I didn't have an outhouse like you or Sunny, life on a commune sure is interesting reading!

Ti said...

I enjoyed this one too. Sunny was such a likable character and both settings played such a big role in the story.

You had a two seater outhouse??? You must have been rich! LOL.

Dar said...

I'll be reading this one soon for a blog tour and I can't wait. I loved Bread Alone. Have you read BAker's Apprentice? It's a continuation of Bread Alone and it's great too.

Florinda said...

Bread Alone was in my TBR collection for so long I gave up on it and donated it unread. I got The Laws of Harmony through LibraryThing Early Reviewers last week. If it turns out to be as good as you and other bloggers have been saying, I may need to find a replacement copy of Bread Alone.

Melanie said...

I've got this checked out from the library. Can't wait to read it.

bermudaonion said...

I never knew you had such an interesting childhood. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

Pam said...

I've never read anything by this author, would this be a good one to start with?

softdrink said...

Stephanie - have you read her others? Still can't decide if I like this one or Bread Alone best.

Ti - I lived in a barn. I think that answers your question. ;-)

Dar - yep, I've read all of her books. Wasn't crazy about Isabel's Daughter, but loved the Bread Alone series.

Florinda - Bummer. I actually held on to Bread Alone for awhile, before realizing I wasn't going to re-read it. Wish I still had it for you!

Melanie - I hope you enjoy it!

Kathy - that was about the highlight of my childhood. Or lowlight.

Pam - this one, or Bread Alone. Anyone else want to chime in on this?

Joanne said...

sigh - I've got 'Isabel's Daughter' on my TBR, and now this one sounds amazing too.

I think that all the writers around the world need to just stop writing for about 10 years - which is how long I estimate I'll be reading before finally coming to the bottom of my frikken' reading list.

Ladytink_534 said...

I've never lived in a commune or used an outhouse or a barn however the difference from my own life is kind of what interests me in the book lol.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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