Customer Reviews for

Heart of the Beast

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2002

    Would like to read her 2nd or 3rd effort

    ..But this one left me disappointed. Beautiful images and story telling, mixed unevenly with unclear, seemingly pointless switches in time (past vs present?), left me frustrated during the first half of the book. Suddenly we are left in an interesting story that actually stays in the present for a few rewarding chapters. Sadly we are then again back to the constant back and forth of then vs. now, with a character that -to me- is simply not that likeable or admirable. At the end of the book, interesting characters and story lines are simply left incomplete. A frankly, frustrating and uneven read with lots of potential.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2002

    Eastern Oregon ranch life at its best (which is really hard)

    This book was absolutely wonderful- a beautifully written gripping story. It has marvelous descriptions of that harsh and brutal land and the people who have to sometimes be harsh and brutal to survive it. Having been there, she described Eastern Oregon to a tee, although I have no first-hand knowledge of the ranch life (thank heavens!). I chose this for my book club, and everyone loved it. I knew the author when she was in college, got in touch with her after 20 years, and she agreed to participate in our club's meeting via phone. She was as interesting as her writing. I can't wait for the next book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2001

    An Unforgettable Novel

    Once I started reading Joyce Weatherford's novel, I couldn't put it down. It was as if I lived in the world she created while I read. Great characters, great setting. It truly is a family saga. Looking forward to her next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2001

    magnificent western novel

    Must reading, thought provoking, gut wrenching ...the story of generations of a family in conflict and turmoil. Ms. Weatherford has spun a western saga worth its weight in gold.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2001

    Epic Journey Creates Amber Waves of Grain

    Epic. Instantly, an American Literary Classic. A crop of wheat does not magically appear. It is a product created by the best of the American Spirit. Iris Steele is that Spirit--and Weatherford's terse, clipped prose makes us believe in Iris and her life's journey to create the wheat again and again. Iris is beautiful. Her spirit cannot be broken. In conquering the ultimate American villians, tyranny and indifference, Iris reaches the best part in all of us. Her story is American to its core, an uplifting celebration of the spirit of the West and our Land. The beauty within Heart of the Beast is it rings true--to the best we offer each other.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2001

    A wonderful book

    This is truly a remarkable book, a multi-layered tale, both absorbing and enlightening, that addresses life's often hard-earned, and hard-learned, lessons: that one's true identity is not always easily uncovered, or easily escaped; that conquering (or, at least, surviving) life's hardships and obstacles requires a healthy appreciation of our own limitations; and that family obligation, no matter how strong or long standing, is often too fragile a substitute for true loving devotion. Joyce Weatherford's sensuously wrought and suspenseful story made me yearn for the freedom of the wide open Eastern Oregon landscape and the energy and excitement of the annual harvest, drawing me effortlessly, and irreversibly, into Iris Steele's unrelenting pursuit for love, survival, and forgiveness. A must read for anyone who has ever loved, and lost, and chosen to take a chance and love again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2001

    Love and Grit

    WOW! After reading so many books that either have a great story but mediocre writing or great writing and a thin story, this book is a godsend ... it is beautiful, gripping, tragic. I found myself completely entranced by the straight-shooting narrative and the seemless intertwining of landscape and human relationships. For anyone who has experienced the pain of family relationships that don't live up to expectations, this book offers solace and hope. I loved the strength, tenacity and vulnerability of Iris Steele ... she is an inspiration.

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