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OkayI think I am the first person to review this book who doesn t know the author That s okay It may bring in a little perspective of the non utah Mormon.Overall I thought the book was okay I didn t have any trouble with the premise of a celebrity trying to escape the madness they live in and regain some of their own crediblity I have worked with celebrities and seen first hand what a difficult tight rope they walk I was even okay with the occasional swearing of the LDS charaters to an extent I will address that later There were moments of wonderful writing that I thought were well thought out and expressed Unfortunately those moments were too far apart.There were times I felt that the author had perhaps written a short story about a man who had lost his family which I thought was the best writing and decided to turn it into a novel So he concocted this story to go around it.The High School teacher s lounge scenes felt like filler They did little to move the story along And that s an issue I had with the book It started out as a stroll in the park and then turned into a horse race with a ending that felt manipulated.The political commentary was interesting, as far as seeing different points of view, but again felt like filler I don t think it added any depth or understanding to Jordan Sometimes if felt like the author intruding on the story saying, look here, this is how government works If a writer wants to persue that course then maybe he should write dystopia it s very popular right now.The Paparazzi were over the top And I felt like the story lost credibility there There isn t a high school in this country that any old stranger with a camera could walk in and start taking pictures Shoot, parents can hardly enter the building without being fingerprinted and having a full background check.I did appreciate the LDS element as the culture was portayed There wasn t any unneccesary explaining or preaching in the story I think we need of that With the exception of the swearing and I know there are Mormons who swear that s not the issue I feel like every male character in the book had to swear, as if to show off his manliness or worldliness It was an element that I thought again didn t ring true and as a side note there are many LDS out there that will not read a book if it contains swearing, just saying Would I recommend the book to others Probably It was an entertaining read and had several good spots to recommend it I don t know if I have the old cover or the new one, but I didn t like the cover That s an issue for the publisher If I had seen it on the book store shelf at a store I would have passed it by.My rating 3 stars I wanted to like it than I did It s a shame the writing was so uneven. I used to work with Robert Goble He managed the pool that I coached at and I would often talk to him about his life and his writing I always wanted to read what he had written and finally decided to He used to come and tell my students scary ghost stories about the school The students loved when he came I am interested if this novel has the same elements that made him a great story teller I m afraid that I found him to be a better story teller than writer.I am torn in what I should and should not say because I have never reviewed a book that someone that I know has written Perhaps I should make a policy of not reviewing books by people I know, but I have read the book and feel that something should be said about it.I have often heard from my writing friends that it is sometimes easier to write about what you know Goble took this to an extreme I perhaps would have enjoyed the novel if I didn t know the area or the people that he included in his novel Anyone that has ever lived or worked in Magna will be able to correctly identify many of the characters Goble wrote himself into the novel and the main character, Jordan, and the head custodian, Gaudi, are Goble Many of the thoughts and ideas that Jordan and Gaudi had, are ones that Goble himself has said to people around him He changed the names slightly of the teachers that he talks about Mark s name was changed to Mitt, but Goble kept the last name the same As a teacher at the high school in Magna, I felt that the conversations the teachers had were very similar to actual conversations that they had His thinly veiled characters said approximately what they really had said I felt like I was sitting in the faculty room again listening to these characters speak The fact that he didn t change who the real people were really bothered me I felt like the novel would have been better if there wasn t such a close association with real people.The plot was based off the clinched story of a celebrity running away to hide from the media and really wasn t believable I was also dismayed at how many times the Mormon characters would swear, but the celebrity would always say dadgum to the other characters Nattie the celebrity was described as having a foul mouth whenever she would talk to managers, etc but would then use dadgum to express herself That seemed untrue to character especially when the Mormon main character even swore at his mother When I worked with Goble, I loved to talk to him about many things, but I always stayed clear of politics The reason for that was we had some conversations where he talked about his political views and I found myself completely disagreeing with him I didn t want to get into an argument so I would steer the conversation onto something else Jordan, the main character, makes the comment I don t have to agree with his politics to enjoy his writing 111 I have to disagree The political comments seemed gratuitous and were not needed in the story line I didn t connect with the characters at all and really didn t care what happened to them.I was hoping for a well written novel and instead was sorely disappointed. The author of this book, Robert Goble contacted me on my blog First of all I m not a romance reader I love Science Fiction, Horror, and Political Thrillers I picked up the book because this author is local and I wanted to support him Once I got past the cover I was pleasantly surprised By the way, I see the publisher has since put on a far better cover an energetic picture of a girl with a guitar Kudos Goodreads should change their photo The idea of a young widower renting his basement to a girl next door type who turns out to be a famous pop star was intriguing I could see it as far believable than having a romance with a vampire It s all fiction, folks But this was satisfying The main character, Jordan, is just a regular guy with his flaws and weaknesses What could you expect from a fellow who d just lost his wife and kids in a car accident This young Spanish teacher wanders through life in a post tragedy haze He fixes up his basement with the intention of renting, turns down every potential renter who comes along, until some nice looking girl Nattie shows up Being a guy, I don t blame him for saying yes In the mean time Jordan s best Buddy, Kenny, invites him to D.C with the intention of setting him up with a family friend and graduate student, Celeste They start a correspondence, but this Celeste character comes across as a little fickle One minute she seems interested, the next, she disses him Most of their conversations are political, and I think they brilliantly create an uncomfortable conflict between the two and expose Celeste as someone he really wouldn t be happy with, someone who wouldn t want marriage and a family as he does All the while Jordan, a Mormon, builds a friendship with Nattie, a girl from a completely different world She s a little odd and reclusive, but warms up to him I especially liked the scene where he goes for firewood and locks himself out in the cold With his arms full of wood, he taps Nattie s basement door with his foot to get her attention She wakes up and lets him in This scene not only has elements of a tasteful sexual tension, but it s the beginning of a deepening in their friendship He invites her to dinner, she accepts They sit and eat in front of the fire where the conversation turns to her music she spends a lot of time downstairs playing the guitar and singing He tells her how much he likes her music She offers to play him some songs she d just written Nattie smiled at him so warmly at that moment that it shook him inside He fought to keep everything objective Her fingers looked delicate in the light of the fire, but she knew how to touch the strings She hit the low E string, slid her fingers up the frets, then back down It sounded like the guitar said wow With a flick of her fingers, she chugged an E chord It came so clear and easy that it surprised him With her middle finger she trilled out a rolling pattern of notes, low and heavy against the main chord It was a rolling beat, almost old heavy metal Then her voice came in clear, fun, girlish, andseductive He loved it already Kickin up dirt in a pick up truck That s all right by me It s hard to resist the pull of the mud and the dirt That s the way I m gonna be Listen to me boys Girlsliketrucks too Robert s writing is unintimidating and freshly descriptive The plot speeds up as he comes closer to discovering Nattie s true identity The way he pulled it off is clever and unexpected, which is one of the things I enjoyed most about the book It was unpredictable But most of all, the writing is worth the trip The sky rested low and white, as if a giant airbrush had erased the tops of the mountains in one great, fuzzy line The air had a strange, sharp quality, a diffuse, no shadow light that said a snowstorm was imminent Jordan drove with a quiet seriousness, every once in a while glancing out his window to see if the clouds were any lower He dreaded the heavy, dark squall he expected to come into the horizon behind them any minute Inside, his emotions tangled and danced He was annoyed that he d let his mother talk him into staying the night, but every time he thought about last night, he would leap back into himself, to the brief moment in Nattie s arms Underneath it all was a steady beat, saying that he shouldn t have kissed her Reading other reviews, I see folks trying to pigeonhole this book into being a Mormon novel I disagree The writer happens to be Mormon, but the story is honest and refreshing, not didactic, predictable, and overly sentimental like so much of the slush of Mormon literature out there The dynamics between Nattie Natalia a worldly pop star suffering a personal crisis of her own and this lonely Mormon boy were not only tasteful, but revealing on a deeply human level If this is to be a Mormon novel, this might just be the author of realistic Mormon fiction we ve all been waiting for He s left me anxious for As for the colorful word now and then, how else would one expect a regular guy sliding to the edge of his world to speak It might be shocking and disappointing to a self righteous soul, but to me the language was as realistic as it could have gotten without an F bomb being slung Has anyone heard Brittany Spears speak when she didn t know the camera on Nattie was from Oklahoma, y all Dadgum I d give it a PG 13 rating for a mostly adult and older teen audience. This was a good book But I found it a difficult read I m not sure how to say exactly what I mean I absolutely loved the story It was a great idea and VERY well written But the story hit a lot of sore spots for me that made it hard to read I would definitely recommend this book to others, though It was hard for me, but I still loved the story Most people won t have the background issues I have and will only ENJOY the book. I read this book because of this review After finishing the book, I mostly agree with the review The first 2 3rds of this novel were engrossing and fun I have to admit I loved the Mormon ness of the writing There were so many cultural assumptions that I couldn t help but feel a sense of delight as for the first time in my life I read a book that depicted a culture I actually recognized as personally my own Even aside from that, however, the writing was engaging and at times powerful When I got to the big reveal when the main character finally realizes who his mysterious new tenant is I couldn t put the book down.The problem is that the last third of the book fails to depict all of the most crucial action Up to that point it made sense to have Jordan as the point of view character, but after that point a ton has to happen with his love interest that because she disappears and is never a POV character in any case we never get to see It actually boils down to the old Show, don t tell mantra Up through the first 2 3rds or so of the book we are being shown the action, and it s awesome, but then we re just sort of told how everything winds up in the end and it goes from engaging to just summarizing.Still, it was a fun and moving book that I think was well worth reading I just wish the ending had lived up to the first parts I also wish that the country character hadn t used y all so inauthentically or said dadgum all the time Really Wish I had something better to say, but I did not enjoy this book It was so boring to read about this guys garden, uninteresting teacher interactions and political debates I ended up skimming entire sections and just when I thought things might get interesting they just got weird The ending felt so anti climactic, I put the book down angry that I paid money for it, let alone my time *Download Book ☞ Across a Harvested Field ↚ To Jordan Fairchild, The Dark Haired Girl Renting His Basement Apartment Seems Somewhat Quiet And Reclusive Just A Business Arrangement, He Thinks, As He Watches Her Sign The Name Nattie Hand On The Contract Though Two Thousand Miles Away, Celeste Betancourt, An Attractive Georgetown Graduate Student He Met Through A Mutual Friend, Has Captured His Attention A Budding Friendship With Nattie Soon Begins To Bloom Little Does Jordan Know His Girl Next Door Renter Is None Other Than The World Famous Pop Star, Aka Natalia Antonali, Who Recently Disappeared From The Public Eye Little Does He Know How Much His Friendship Will Come To Mean To Her, How, For The First Time A Love Begins To Grow, Untainted By Natalia, And How She Hopes Jordan Never Discovers The Truth It felt like there were two plots There s the introspective overcoming tragedy part and the romantic thriller part The characters were really multi demensional, but sometimes something they would say or do wouldn t quite fit and I would get jolted out of the story I loved the premise of this book and I can t wait to see what the author comes up with next. I really enjoyed this second book of Robert s It is gritty enough to make it realistic, but still not offensive There s a fulfilling ending for me I could see a sequel.