A Rhinestone Button

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When his ability to see sound begins to fade and his one comfort is lost, Job realises he must look beyond himself and his solitary existence to find happiness and acceptance. In this exquisitely written novel Gail Anderson-Dargatz entwines her ability to make us understand and love characters, with her power to evoke the beauty in the minutiae of life and the tremendous natural forces of The Rhinestone Button's rural backdrop. Compelling, beautifully-written exploration of small-town Canada, religion, and the experience of growing up different.

I feel like I was kind of biased by the books I read immediately before, so I Job is a farmer in Godsfinger, Alberta.

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He is gifted with synesthesia, a condition he uses to approximate his relation to God; when he feels sound and the world is alive to him, he interprets that God Oct 11, janetandjohn rated it it was amazing. A single man who is rather afraid of women in general except for Liv at the diner, and she's married, so no threat.

How did his family get mixed up with a charismatic preacher? And why is everyone so unhappy? Light and enjoyable read. Jul 13, Ashley rated it it was ok. Not worth the candle. By page of Job the repressed man-child doormat is still figuring out how the world works. I found his continuing lack of self awareness and spine irksome. Nov 17, DubaiReader rated it liked it Shelves: e-book , old-bk-grp , Small village life in rural Canada. I did finish, which is always satisfying, but it was only a three-star read for me.

He listened to t Small village life in rural Canada. He listened to the vacuum cleaner for hours on end because it produced an 'invisible egg with the smooth, cool feel of glass'. However, I didn't find these descriptions enlightening; in order to get anything out of them I had to stop reading and ponder the details and this curtailed the flow of my reading. The author's strengths lay in her character descriptions - Job's dreadful brother and his brother's wife were truly cringeworthy, and Job's friend Will, really pulled on my heartstrings when he was punished later in the book.

I also felt for Job when he had to move into the hired-hand's shed to allow room for his brother and family, giving up his beloved kitchen and the solace of cooking. I was involved by the characters but not by the story, which pretty much left me cold. I also found I had to remind myself that we were in Canada, as the village had the feel of Southern, 'Redneck' America. Not the author's best work I am told, so I might give her another chance, we shall see.

That book was just the kind of book that you read throughout, thinking it's not really anything special but compelling enough anyway, until you close the last page - and then it hits you. Maybe it's the fact that they ARE indeed very simple. Simple people leading simple lives in a simple town, villages really, with simple adventures happening to them. A fight with the parents here, a family drama there, a break-up with a girlfriend, a hook-up with a guy friend, a fox that you like to watch, a cat which you like to pet But then there's also these extraordinary things happening, like a tornado that hits the village, a friend that rapes the heroin, the father or the mother that dies, or the Job, in "A Rhinestone Button", that can see colours and shapes when he hears sounds.

But these extraordinary things are not presented has being all that extraordinary - they are simply mixed with the everyday life. And maybe that's what gives this feeling of "nothing much but at the same time everything" to Anderson-Dargatz's books. View 2 comments. Feb 15, Christine Clark rated it it was amazing. So amazing! And I get to meet her tomorrow :. Crop circles, a duck in a nappy, and a crazy lady who squirts a water pistol at those she thinks are out of line. Sounds like a quirky read, right? So utterly disappointed that there wasn't more of this quirkiness, that more wasn't made of Job's synaesthesia and less of the less than likable, one dimensional, fanatical characters, many of whom exhibited abusive tendencies towards animals, to say nothing of their fellow men.

A story essentially of being different, of finding acceptance, of fitting Crop circles, a duck in a nappy, and a crazy lady who squirts a water pistol at those she thinks are out of line. A story essentially of being different, of finding acceptance, of fitting in, A Rhinestone Button is based in the rural, God fearing community of the fictional Godsfinger where much of the story takes place in and around an evangelical church, the author taking great pains to describe various rituals including healing by the laying on of hands.

A less than satisfying read. I'm still trying to work out if the author was being ironic or not just as I'm still having difficulty understanding what the book's message was, for I feel certain that there was a message in there somewhere and I just wasn't getting it. I really had trouble with this novel. I enjoyed reading about the small town farming community, the overbearing evangelical church influences on young people still unsure of their sexual identity and the really lovely descriptions of the geography and power of nature in Godsfinger.

However, I was overwhelmed by my visceral reaction to how the main character of Job Sunstrum was treated by everyone I am sure that this is just what Anderson-Dargatz had intended for her readers, but it was just t I really had trouble with this novel. I am sure that this is just what Anderson-Dargatz had intended for her readers, but it was just too upsetting for me.

While it ends on a hopeful note, I was saddened for most of this novel. Jun 24, Jennifer Eagle rated it it was amazing. I fell in love with the main character Job, for all the way people in his small town misunderstand him and all his heaps of misfortune. Little do they know his magic. Little do we know each other's magic!

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Yet for all the heartbreak in this novel, it is imbued with great humour. I also loved the fact that it is set in Alberta, and mentions many places near my home in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A very universal read, despite it's local nature. Compelling, beautifully-written exploration of small-town Canada, religion, and the experience of growing up different. I feel like I was kind of biased by the books I read immediately before, so I was hoping for a bit more of an exploration of sexuality specifically, being gay in small, religious communities.

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Having said that, this is still a phenomenal book, and I'm excited to read more of Gail Anderson-Dargatz's books. May 08, Tabitha rated it did not like it. While I did read this cover to cover in one night, there was something important missing from it. I closed the final pages and felt a sense of incompletion. There was no imparting sense of awe at the beauty of the words, at the cunning of the execution, nor any marvel at the feelings stirred up by the story. Aug 17, Shari rated it really liked it. This is the story of Jo Sunstrum — a farmer in god-fearing Alberta who is a late bloomer.

Dec 27, Louise Buchanan rated it really liked it. I do love Gail Andeson Dargatz books!!

So richly saturated in Alberta and rural life. I loved the ending to this book with it's basic message of living for the moment and cherishing all that you have. The descriptions of the senses were great also. I think I only have 1 of her books left to read so I hope she is working on another!!!!!

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Nov 04, Autumn rated it liked it Shelves: canadian , family , fiction , contemporary , alberta. I was really into this book Just lost a bit of steam in the last few chapters and closed it off relatively predictably. Good story, feels a bit unfinished. Jun 28, Michele rated it liked it Shelves: finished. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Not my favorite of her books, almost gave up several times but was glad I finished it. Mar 05, Maaike rated it it was amazing.

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Written by an old friend of mine from Qualicum. Sep 25, Kimberly Bogelund rated it it was ok.


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Slow moving. The most interesting aspect was the setting! My neck of the rural Alberta woods. Nov 03, Margi rated it really liked it. The protagonist in this book has Synesthesia, and after reading the book, I really enjoyed listening to a program about Synesthesia on CBC Radio yesterday. Feb 21, Francine rated it it was amazing.

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Loved it! Loved Job, the main character. Dec 25, Tania rated it liked it Shelves: library-books.

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Randomly chosen to be 69 of Perhaps my last for the year??? Jan 17, Kris Kennett rated it liked it. Great descriptions of sound into colour. Too much religion for me but great ending. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.


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