Prayers and Lies

Sherri Wood Emmons

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Prayers and Lies

Prayers and Lies By Sherri Wood Emmons Prayers and Lies When seven year old Bethany meets her six year old cousin Reana Mae it s the beginning of a kinship of misfits that saves both from a bone deep loneliness Every summer Bethany and her family leave I

  • Title: Prayers and Lies
  • Author: Sherri Wood Emmons
  • ISBN: 9780758253248
  • Page: 218
  • Format: Paperback
  • Prayers and Lies By Sherri Wood Emmons When seven year old Bethany meets her six year old cousin Reana Mae, it s the beginning of a kinship of misfits that saves both from a bone deep loneliness Every summer, Bethany and her family leave Indianapolis for West Virginia s Coal River Valley For Bethany s mother, the trips are a reminder of the coalmines and grinding poverty of her childhood, of a place she d hopWhen seven year old Bethany meets her six year old cousin Reana Mae, it s the beginning of a kinship of misfits that saves both from a bone deep loneliness Every summer, Bethany and her family leave Indianapolis for West Virginia s Coal River Valley For Bethany s mother, the trips are a reminder of the coalmines and grinding poverty of her childhood, of a place she d hoped to escape But her loving relatives, and Bethany s friendship with Reana Mae, keep them coming back But as Bethany grows older, she realizes that life in this small, close knit community is not as simple as she once thought at the riverside cabins that hold so much of her family s history also teem with scandalous whispers d that those closest to her harbor unimaginable secrets Amid the dense woods and quiet beauty of the valley, these secrets are coming to light at last, with a force devastating enough to shatter lives, faith, and the bond that Bethany once thought would last forever Spanning four decades, Sherri Wood Emmons debut is a haunting, captivating novel about the unexpected, sometimes shocking events that thrust us into adulthood and the connections that keep us tethered, always, to our pasts.
    Prayers and Lies By Sherri Wood Emmons

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    One thought on “Prayers and Lies

    1. Missy on said:

      You know that feeling that you get when you first start reading a book and you quickly fall in love with the main character You hang on to their every word and feel the same emotions that they are feeling That s how it was between me and Bethany Wylie Bethany and her parents and her three sisters spent every summer on the Coal River in West Virginia Her parents were born and raised there, so they had numerous aunts, uncles and cousins to visit with Bethany formed a special bond with one of her c [...]

    2. Emily on said:

      This book was wonderfully written, and really had me in an emotional tirade about the characters I was rooting for some, disgusted at some, and by the end, I came to understand I had two problems with this book, and that s why I down rated it 1 There were too many names thrown at me right in the beginning, so many that I had to go back and reread the first few chapters after I was some way into the novel, so I could get everything straight in my head Same with at the end, when everything was exp [...]

    3. Sharon on said:

      An appropriate thought provoking title for this book about acceptance and forgiveness a remarkable story of love, friendship, being a teenager, the compelling need to be wanted and needed, lies, secrets, and the dichotomy of pain and joy Bethany and her cousin Reana Mae draw you in to their lives growing up in the Coal River valley of West Virginia When Bethany begins to realize familial dark secrets, her world begins to change and she wrestles with integrity, loyalty, and devotion Bethany, who [...]

    4. Katherine on said:

      Mother had a saying You don t hang underwear on the outside line And our secrets stayed neatly cloistered within the family, where they belonged That was our way for a long time, until we couldn t hide them any This book isn t going to do anything to help combat Appalachian stereotypes, but there s no denying the addictive quality of this Southern family drama.Bethany Wylie and her family always vacation in West Virginia s Coal Valley mountain to see her father s relatives Her mother and three s [...]

    5. The on said:

      Well written for the most part, but I don t appreciate the way the author treated an abusive incestuous situation between an 11 year old and her adult uncle as a relationship Although it was portrayed as a wrong and inappropriate relationship, it was never portrayed as rape, abuse, or incest Despite the close relationship many of the characters had with Reana Mae, none of them ever told her that what her uncle Caleb did to her was abuse They simply acted as if her relationship was wrong because [...]

    6. Pamela Browning on said:

      As a native West Virginian, I was very anxious to read this book After completion, I have mixed emotions I became pulled in by the story line and loved the sweet natured narrator I thought Ms Emmons was quite proficient in character development She had me gritting my teeth while reading about Tracy s hatefulness and feeling as though my heart would break every time Reana Mae was mistreatedwhich unfortunately was often The characters Southern West Virginia dialect was spot on.The content was extr [...]

    7. Amy on said:

      This book captivated me like a car wreck though as the plot and characters were emotionally raw There was no sugar coating what was happening in their lives I thought the book was extremely well written and developed to the point that it amazes me this was a first time author My complaints I needed a geneology chart to remember who was related to who and how I also was very upset that the abuses were accepted by the families and characterized as normal to a degree Why wasn t anyone punished Dist [...]

    8. Krystlesta on said:

      When Bethany meets her cousin Reana Mae, it s the beginning of a friendship that will last forever Every summer Bethany and her family leave Indianapolis for West Virginia s Coal River Valley These trips remind Bethany s mother of the coal mines and grinding poverty of her childhood But because of their relatives, and Bethany s friendship with Reana Mae, they keep coming back As Bethany grows older she learns that life in this small town isn t as simple as she once thought The secrets of this li [...]

    9. Bon on said:

      Ok this book read so fast and the writing was so vivid that I stayed up late from 11 p.m until 4 a.m this morning to finish it Talk about haunting and beautiful and riveting all at the same time What hooked me was the honesty of the narrator Her fears, her misunderstadings of adults in her life, and her own challenges with the family members especially extended family All families struggle and the truth is always beneath the surface and shielded from children, yet these very truths are the neces [...]

    10. Ginger on said:

      By far, one of the best books I ve read in quite awhile The story takes place in West Virginia and is told in Bethany s POV The setting is late 1960 s 1970 s, with the last chapter being 1982 It centers mostly on Bethany and her cousin Reana Mae It s a story which revolves around a family and extended family, and the lies and secrets It s equal parts sad, happy and infuriating I am so glad I finally picked this up and read it

    11. Barbara Epperson on said:

      My rating might be a tad generous because this book s author lives in Indianapolis The story kept my interest in spite of the extremely disturbing truths revealed in the telling.

    12. Anne Crotty on said:

      The Bible says the sins of the father are visited upon the sonsBut I believe it s the daughters who bear the brunt of most of the family sins At least that s so in my family So begins Sherri Wood Emmon s haunting novel about family secrets and salvation Bethany and Rena Mae are cousins They spend every minute of Summer vacation together in the coal country of West Virginia Bethany enjoys these summers away from her home in Indianapolis It is during these summers that she gets a bit of a break fr [...]

    13. Sarah (Workaday Reads) on said:

      Bethany and her cousin Reana Mae are soul sisters, inseparable during the summers when Bethany and her family stay at their cottage in West Virginia s Coal River Valley As they grow up, Bethany realizes that not everything is as perfect as it seems, and every family has dark secrets As these secrets come to light, Bethany s world is rocked, and she must decide how to react towards those she loves most.This was a haunting story that I couldn t put down The secrets and events that happen within th [...]

    14. Maggie61 on said:

      Loved this first book of Sherri wood Emmons Bethany, one of four sisters is best friends with her wrong side of the tracks only child Reana Mae The two are inseparable as children with Bethany s family spends summers at the cottage Reana is of a sister to her than Tracey her next oldest sister Tracey is just mean and nasty and uses every opportunity to torment her sister and even is Reana her target One summer, when Reana is 11, she is never to be found and Bethany finds that Reana has grown u [...]

    15. Lin on said:

      Probably because my mother s family arrived here pre 1700 and lived in cabins in the hills of the southern states and that my Grandma Effie Mae was such a prominent person in my childhood She was born in the 1880s in southern Illinois and her tales of family, and she was a magnificent storyteller, of poverty and pride, of the spiritual and the spirits, of family legend and pride, instigated my lifelong fascination with genealogy and my love affair with Southern literature My masters thesis was w [...]

    16. Lisa on said:

      I stumbled upon this book by accident at my local library Honestly what prompted me to check it out was that it was set mostly in West Virginia I m a sucker for anything nonfiction OR fiction that takes place in my state What was the most unusual part about the find is that my library has a section devoted to anything that takes place in WV, both historically and fictionally I found this on the opposite side of the library in the regular fiction section I read the blurb and saw that it was a WV [...]

    17. Ann Marie on said:

      This book was wonderfulur stars because there were just to many relatives in the first couple chapters and again in the last couple chaptersI know they were part of the story, I just hate having to read family treesI can never follow them and I always have to go back and re readbut this was a wonderful story and I would recommend it to all kinda feels like Me Emma but there is so much to this one is soft and sweet while hard and harshif you liked Me Emma you HAVE to read this one glad I did

    18. Krissy on said:

      An excellently told story The writing is descriptive and compelling while the characters are multidimensional The subject matter of incest seemed forced not sure THAT was the most believable hardship for the character The diary entries seemed as from another character the author was creating And the matter of mental illness was presented from an authentic and believable perspective until the very last sentence of the book.

    19. Pat Wogan on said:

      I started reading this book in the morning and couldn t put it down Emmons is a great story teller She made even her minor characters real I fini,shed the book in one day because I had to know how it ended Don t start this book on a day you have lots of chores to do Well written, good story, believable characters, and well described settings I give it five stars

    20. Jill on said:

      Great summer read Everyone in this family is so screwed up It is not a matter of if everything is going to hit the fan, it is a matter of when This story reminded me of why I don t have the urge to look that close at my family tree.

    21. Janet H.Weaver on said:

      The story line and the message the book was sending was good, but the language and sexually explicit scenes were than I could take I wouln t recommend it if you are bothered by that type of writing It was difficult for me to finish the book

    22. Mich on said:

      OMG GREAT READ run out and get it right now oh so very worth it atleast it was for me

    23. Apryl Rickert on said:

      I was a little confused at the beginning of this book but the storyline soon became clear and I couldn t wait to see what would happen to these characters Very engaging

    24. Lee Anne on said:

      Captivating characters intricate plotader keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop Not the happiest of tales.

    25. Diane Macaluso on said:

      It took me awhile to figure out all the aunts, grandmas, uncles, cousins, etc but finally just let the story pull me along Didn t want to put it down

    26. Shirley on said:

      Great page turning novel about family secrets and innocence lost Loved it.

    27. Liberty Arrow on said:

      I gave this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars.This was a thrift store find for me, and I m so glad I came across it Such an interesting story with very intriguing characters Bethany was the perfect narrator and I had a growing fascination for both Reana Mae and Tracy throughout the book.This is one of those books that I never knew I needed to read and I would highly recommend it to anyone who needs a good coming of age story to dive into.

    28. Nancy on said:

      An excellent first novel Characters were very well conceived and depicted The plot is a heart wrenching one, but this story is filled with many instances of love, hate, catastrophe and triumph.It s an excellent portrayal of social classes, different lives, different upbringings and belief systems.

    29. Karen Keane on said:

      I loved this book I really love it when I like the protagonist from the start Each of these characters were interesting and I came to care about them and was anxious to find out what happens I do feel there were so many names at the beginning , so I write a family tree on scrap paper Definitely would recommend this book.

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