Reviews & Testimonials

Reviews: Gabriel’s Daughters

GabrielCoverAs a busy mom of four, I don’t have much free time to spend reading a book. I started reading “Gabriel’s Daughters” by Janet Jensen with the expectation that it would take me 2-4 weeks to complete it. I was wrong! The book was so engaging I lost the desire to sleep at night and read it in 5 days!

The characters came to life with vivid descriptions, strengths, and weaknesses that are easy to relate to. I found myself wanting Zina to succeed in life and to find what truly made her happy. I became immersed in each experience that Zina went through and felt her pain, confusion, insecurities, curiousity, determination, outhfulness, maturity, and joy as the novel developed.

I enjoyed how the characters from Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys were integrated into this follow up novel. Gabriel’s Daughters is so well written that it stands on its own…
Gabriels’ Daughters includes elements of hope, persistence, suspense, and love, which always make for a great read.
—Kristine M. homemaker, FL  

This is a rivetingly powerful story about a clash between two distinctly different yet similar cultures, and the issues of free agency and women’s liberation.
—Bill Willson, author, Logan, UT  

I read Gabriel’s Daughters and loved it. It got me interested within the first two chapters and kept me going until I had finished the book. I could feel the characters and lived their lives with them. I consider this book a very good read and that people will enjoy it very much.
—Myrna Humphreys, Tampa, Florida

Even though I grew up in a community with lots of Mormons (plus one family who dressed like they were Amish but denied it; wonder if they were polygamists?), polygamists seem very exotic to me, and I can only imagine how mysterious the whole culture must seem to people who didn’t grow up in the West! There is still so much conflict in these books, even though I love almost every character — I admire that. I found the book consistently compelling and the ending very satisfying.

Zina is such a wonderful central character. She is tough and sweet and thoughtful, and I liked hearing her take on the many strange worlds she encounters. I was charmed by her intelligence and her complete open-mindedness. She grows up in an ultra-heterosexual, all-white world — but when she’s taken in by an African-American couple or a gay man, she loves these generous people right back.
— Catherine de Cuir, Lake Arrowhead, California
Author, Peace Prompts: A Guided Journal for Communities, Congregations, and Activists in a Time of War

. . . a masterful job at continuing the story of Joshua’s daughters, of showing not just the evils of polygamy but how important family is, even if it’s not an ideal family. . . I liked how the book took readers across country and created such effective settings. The ending was particularly satisfying.
—Janet Peterson, author of Elect Ladies, The Children’s Friends and Family Dinners

Gabriel’s Daughters captured my attention from the first page and held it to the last. (Jensen) did a fantastic job developing the plot of this book. She breathed life into her characters. The characters are easy to connect to and the situations they face are very realistic. The quotes and scriptures before each chapter relate to the content of that chapter. This book never gets boring as we follow Zina on her journey: from her travels with Simon her roommate, to hiding out in her sister’s barn to Miss Carolina, the old country healer from the hills of Kentucky. This book is appropriate for any age. I highly recommend Gabriel’s Daughters.
—Reviewed by Lynn F. for ReadersFavorite.com

Gabriel’s Daughters is, at its core, three rounds in our culture’s ongoing “nature vs. nurture” boxing match. The daughters in question—sisters Louisa, Zina, and Amy—are products of a polygamous marriage and the fundamentalist Mormon community Gabriel’s Landing. While the same challenges and conflicts confront the daughters, each responds in a different way, following divergent paths that take them far away from one another, yet, at the same time, draw them closer together than ever. A well-crafted, cleverly constructed web of interlocking stories, Gabriel’s Daughters offers food for thought while it engages and entertains.
—Rod Miller
Western Writers of America Spur award winning author of the Assassination of Governor Boggs, What a Cowboy Sees, Cold as the Clay, Go West

In her new novel, Gabriel’s Daughters, Janet Jensen tackles the issues of plural marriage and gay companionship with amazing objectivity. Her charitable approach to different lifestyles clearly directs us toward a future tolerance our society has only begun to imagine.
—Marilyn Brown, author of Fires of Jerusalem

 


 

Reviews: Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boysdon't_you_marry_cover

With evocative language, Janet Kay Jensen brings to a life a story that echoes, but does not imitate, today’s headlines – – and answers many questions asked by the public today concerning polygamous communities and their former ties to the LDS church.
—Tristi Pinkston, historical writer and book reviewer for Families.com

I think Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys will be enjoyed by women from all religions. She (Janet Jensen) is very respectful of the Mormon beliefs and I think that this would be a great gift for someone of that faith. It would also be a great selection for a reader’s group because in addition to enjoying the well written story, the storyline will also stimulate some interesting discussions.
Paige Lovitt, for Reader Views (9/07) www.readerviews.com

A thoroughly captivating story with unusual characters. Janet Kay Jensen shows us that truth and love can triumph over anything life might throw our way.
—Rachel Ann Nunes, bestselling LDS author

In this compelling story, the clash of religious cultures creates conflict between two characters the reader cares about. The writing is clear and often gorgeous. I was fascinated by American subcultures the author seems to know so well, and I think many readers will be. A great love story—and more. I search for this kind of book and would snap it up.
—Catherine deCuir, Berkeley, California, author of Peace Prompts: A Guided Journal

Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys is a delightful story of relationships and religion that touches any reader who has struggled with meshing different upbringings and values. Jensen’s book grabbed me from page one and held me to the end.
—Robert T. Winn, M.D., Park City, Utah

I fell in love with Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys from the first chapter. When Andy finds himself in a totally new environment, he tries to make the best of it, but his heart has been captured by Louisa, whom he thinks can never be his wife. With insight and humor, Janet Jensen manages to engage us totally into the lives of a delightful set of characters. I laughed as well as cried as I shared the adventure. There are so many colorful characters in this story, and each one is totally endearing.
Anne Cloward, Technical Writer, Woodbury, Minnesota

Janet Jensen has written a lively tale of love, loyalty and family that pulls at your heart. From the first chapter, I was cheering for Andy and Louisa to work things out. The journey along the way was totally delightful.
—Joan Gustafson, Woodbury, Minnesota, President, Success and Leadership Dynamics, and author, Success Strategies for College and Beyond, A Woman Can Do That, and Some Leaders are Born Women

I have read the book Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys and enjoyed it very much. It kept my attention and I wanted to continue to see what was going to happen. I think Janet did a wonderful job with her writing and made it very interesting for anyone who might read it. It made me want to continue reading.
— Myrna J. Humphreys, Villa Roca, Georgia, retired

Janet Jensen makes it easy to know and care about her characters. They brought me both smiles and tears and kept me turning the pages into the wee hours.
— Clifford R. Gustafson, Doctor of Chiropractic, Woodbury, Minnesota


Reviews: The Book Lover’s Cookbook

blc_coverFrom Random Revelations:
A culinary delight and ideal for reading groups— here are more than 170 recipes from the pages of beloved books. From Fannie Flagg’s crispy Fried Green Tomatoes to Pooh’s Honey Kisses, from a Hobbit’s Orange-Poppy Seed Muffins to a Real Man’s Quiche. Kitchen and taste-tested, these delicious recipes are each accompanied by a delectable excerpt from the book that highlights the featured dish.

Publisher’s Weekly
For anyone who has ever wanted to taste the food that plays a role in their favorite books, this charming volume provides the recipes. Wenger and Jensen, both chefs and avid readers, have pored over volumes from Little Women to The Importance of Being Earnest, found food-related passages and devised recipes for each. For example, Catch ‘Em to Eat ‘Em Chicken and Dumplings was inspired by this passage from Frannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: “Even at 11, they say she could make the most delicious biscuits and gravy, cobbler, fried chicken, turnip greens, and black-eyed peas. And her dumplings were so light they would float in the air and you’d have to catch ’em to eat ’em.” Scattered between recipes and passages are quotations from authors about food and writing. At times, Wenger and Jensen may stretch to link some of their recipes to literature-Baked Stuffed Mushrooms follows a passage from Alice in Wonderland — which seems rather unnecessary given that there are so many books with appropriate food descriptions. Nonetheless, their volume provides a fun read for any bibliophile-cum-foodie. (Oct.)
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal
Descriptions of food in literature and writers sharing their favorite recipes serve as the foundation [for an] entertaining cookbook. In their quirky The Booklover’s Cookbook, chefs Wenger and Jensen preface more than 170 recipes with excerpts that mention that particular food. Both the recipes and the novels/nonfiction works from which they are taken vary from classic (Mr. Casaubon’s Chicken Noodle Soup from George Eliot’s Middlemarch) to contemporary (Thanksgiving Spinach Casserole from Elizabeth Berg’s Open House). Short quotes from authors on writing or books are also deftly sprinkled among the recipes. Readers with an interest in cooking will find plenty to amuse and tempt them in this terrific book, which gracefully combines literary descriptions with culinary delights . . . recommended for public libraries, especially those with patrons who have an interest in literature or the culinary arts.
John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Chicago Tribune
Editor’s Choice

A literary cookbook in the best of taste. “Book-group hosts can rely on this volume as they anguish over what to serve.”
Elizabeth Taylor, literary editor – November 16, 2003

Green Bay Press
Book Lover’s Cookbook is a Real Page-Turner “I have about three bookshelves filled with cookbooks at home, but I can’t say I’ve actually “read” any one of them — until now. . . . Though I accumulate cookbooks, I don’t find much time to cook so I can’t vouch for these recipes, but the anecdotes in between are delicious.”
Jean Peerenboom, Book Review Columnist, November 16, 2003

Arizona Daily Star
“It’s a lovely book and I’m sure our contest winner will enjoy it — practically had to pry it from my fingers.”
Ann Brown, Senior Assistant Features Editor, November 20, 2003

Internationally Renowned Chef Pierre Wolfe:
“They’ve written a wonderful book! readable and entertaining!”
Pierre Wolfe, host of “The Good Life” Radio Show on KLMO-AM, Denver, CO and “American Dining and Travel Guide” on Radio America Network. November 8, 2003.

Herald Journal
The Book Lover’s Cookbook is sure to be a winner with those who love books and food. …While this column would not normally feature a cookbook, this distinctive offering by a national publishing house rises to the level of literature. . . Part of the joy of this book is its appearance. From the painting on the cover to the texture of the pages and the layout of the pages, this book has been carefully crafted to appeal to those who appreciate not only the words but the ambience of a book. In fact, it is hard to imagine that one would find it in a kitchen where it will meet the inevitable fate of all cookbooks; splatters from the mixer and stains from sauces.

With Christmas around the corner, you may want to place The Book Lover’s Cookbook at the top of your list for a gift that will surely be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come. Charlene Hirschi – Regional Reads – November 28, 2003

National Public Radio
Morning Edition

Holiday Selections from Independent Booksellers
“This is funny because I’m a terrible cook — yet it’s my favorite book of the year to give as a present.” Rona Brinlee of The Book Mark Bookstore in Atlantic Beach, Florida.
December 4, 2003
www.npr.org/books

Seattle Post Intelligencer
. . . a most appealing volume for those legions of book group members, who may well enliven some future gathering with the peach pie inspired by Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye.”

Book Reporter
. . . marvelous anecdotes about writers and writing [are] perfect appetizers that add lots of flavor to this mouth-watering main course.”
www.bookreporter.com

Contra Costa (California) Times
“A bon appetite for bookworms. . . this delightful book is bound to encourage both experiments in the kitchen and forays into new works of literature.”

Deseret News (Utah)
“Two Cache Valley Women are proving that you don’t need to be a celebrity or a big-name chef to publish a novel cookbook.”

Baker Books
Baker Books Staff Picks

“Great literature excerpts, interesting quotes and stories highlight the recipes in this cleverly packaged cookbook. Read on and leave the cooking for later!”

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“You will finish devouring The Book Lover’s Cookbook wanting more for your plate. This clever theme is not likely to be cold.”
Karin Wetzel – Columnist