Normal view MARC view ISBD view

Beautiful revolutionary / Laura Elizabeth Woollett.

By: Woollett, Laura Elizabeth, 1989- [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Brunswick, Victoria : Scribe, 2018Copyright date: ©2018Description: 404 pages ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9781925713039 (paperback).Subject(s): Jones, Jim, 1931-1978 -- Fiction | Peoples Temple -- Fiction | Conscientious objectors -- Fiction | Atheists -- Fiction | Married people -- FictionDDC classification: A823.4 Summary: It's the summer of 1968, and Evelyn Lynden is a woman at war with herself. Minister's daughter. Atheist. Independent woman. Frustrated wife. Bitch with a bleeding heart. Following her conscientious-objector husband Lenny to the rural Eden of Evergreen Valley, California, Evelyn wants to be happy with their new life. Yet as the world is rocked by warfare and political assassinations, by racial discrimination and social upheaval, she finds herself disillusioned with Lenny's passive ways - and anxious for a saviour. Enter the Reverend Jim Jones, the dynamic leader of a revolutionary church called Peoples Temple. As Evelyn grows closer to Jones, her marriage is just the first casualty of his rise to power.
List(s) this item appears in: 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award Finalists
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item reserves
Default St Albans Library (DIY)
Fiction WOOL Available IA2007466
Default Sunshine Library (DIY)
Fiction WOOL Available IA2007464
Default Deer Park Library
Fiction WOOL Available IA2007465
Total reserves: 0

It's the summer of 1968, and Evelyn Lynden is a woman at war with herself. Minister's daughter. Atheist. Independent woman. Frustrated wife. Bitch with a bleeding heart. Following her conscientious-objector husband Lenny to the rural Eden of Evergreen Valley, California, Evelyn wants to be happy with their new life. Yet as the world is rocked by warfare and political assassinations, by racial discrimination and social upheaval, she finds herself disillusioned with Lenny's passive ways - and anxious for a saviour. Enter the Reverend Jim Jones, the dynamic leader of a revolutionary church called Peoples Temple. As Evelyn grows closer to Jones, her marriage is just the first casualty of his rise to power.

Includes bibliographical references.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Booklist Review

In 1968, the Vietnam War in full swing, Evelyn moves with her conscientious-objector husband to Evergreen, California, where he can fulfill his wartime obligation by working in a mental hospital. Looking for a cause to devote her energies to, Evelyn discovers the People's Temple and the Reverend Jim Jones. Unable to resist the pull of Jones' gravity, Evelyn is increasingly drawn into Temple life and, inevitably, the dark future that awaits its members. Inspired by the story of Carolyn Layton, Jones' real-life, right-hand woman, Woollett's latest (The Love of a Bad Man, 2016) presents Jonestown through the eyes of a smart, worldly, socially conscious young woman pulled in by Jim Jones' extreme narcissism. This is a wonderfully written, compelling story, with well-defined characters that each contribute to the community that was Jonestown. And despite the well-known end to her tale, Woollett maintains the tension and uncertainty that must have defined the group's last days. Wollett turns a dark chapter in U.S. history into a deeply human, satisfying read for fans of Emma Cline's The Girls (2016).--Carol Gladstein Copyright 2019 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

A young, idealistic couple is torn apart as they are entangled in the Peoples Temple cult.Just out of college and early in their marriage, Evelyn and Lenny Lynden move to Evergreen Valley, California, so Lenny can fulfill his conscientious objector service in a state mental hospital. Lenny is soon exhausted by his work and regularly comes home with energy only to get high. Evelyn tries to devote herself to homemaking, but the loneliness wears on her. Evelyn suggests the two go to church, where she is immediately taken in by the imposing, charismatic figure of Jim Jones. Evelyn and Lenny become deeply ingrained in the Peoples Temple, and Evelyn begins an affair with Joneswho has a wife and childrenand soon divorces Lenny. Evelyn (who was inspired by a woman named Carolyn Moore) eventually has a son with Jones, and Lenny marries another member. Evelyn's isolation is clear, but any understanding of her motivations is deeply obscure. Woollett's novel, which is heavily researched, traverses the uneasy terrain between historical fiction and all that cannot be known about the inner lives of real people. History blends with mythology, creating a dizzying effect in which a reader, too, will be searching for something to ground them. In an effort to explore multiple perspectives, Woollett (The Love of a Bad Man, 2017, etc.) begins to focus on a tumult of other characters, with Lenny and Evelyn receding from the center; the story is at times difficult to follow. Woollett explores how Jones could have been so captivating and manipulative (with a heavy focus on his lies, sexual manipulations, and abuses of his followers), but the Temple's purported focus on socialism and race relations isn't as clear. In the end, a reader feels the characters hurtling toward doom after the cult moves to Guyana. Perhaps one of the story's most devastating takeaways is that two characters who started out deeply committed to pacifism and the imagining of a better world ultimately failed to imagine any actions other than fear, violence, and death.Weighty and disquieting. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Powered by Koha