Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Review: The Tree House by Doug Thayer

This semester I am in a Latter-Day Saint Literature class. We just finished reading The Tree House by Doug Thayer. It is a novel about a Mormon boy named Harris who grew up in Provo, Utah. It is a coming-of-age novel and follows Harris as he grows up, goes through high school, serves a mission, and gets drafted to fight in Korea during the Korean War. At the beginning of the book, Harris has normal worries that any teenage boy would have, like getting a job so he can earn money to buy a car when he turns sixteen so he can take girls on dates. Harris also goes through dozens of trials that are hard for some of us to imagine coping with, but at the same time he has some trials that many Latter-Day Saints go through, like gaining a testimony. The book is divided into sections starting with Harris' young life in Provo, then following him on his mission to Germany right after World War II, then to Korea to fight in the trenches, and at the end it wraps back to Provo, Utah. The writing style of this book is unique; Thayer writes mostly in short, choppy sentences, kind of like a young man would think. I personally enjoyed Thayer's writing style. The Tree House was not a particularly exciting novel, but I feel like it had good messages and ideas. I enjoyed the section about his mission, but the part about Korea was hard for me to get through. Overall, I think this book is one that most Latter-Day Saints should read.

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