Book Review: The Nuns of Lemon Tree House by Melanie Mole & Robert Brooks

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I was introduced to author Melanie Mole in 2017 when I read one of her earlier books which talked about embracing the simple life. In the book, she also covered a small part of her interest in joining a convent, but it is in her latest book, The Nuns of Lemon Tree House, co-written with Robert Brooks, where Melanie explores the entire experience. Although it would never be the life for me (I love the silence and can be obedient, but I think I might miss a few things like tv, foods, liquor, et al…), reading about someone else’s days in a life that often seems to embrace so many of the things to keep us healthy and relaxed is quite intriguing.

The first thing I’d convey about this book is that even with the simplicity of having very little events, it is warm, inviting, and full of action. But that’s kinda the point, isn’t it? A half-day’s walk around the convent just exploring the architecture or floor plan while not highly eventful does offer significant experience and commentary about life. Asking questions, thinking about change, or finding connections between your own life and those living within the convent’s walls induces tons of moments I enjoyed reading about. The authors’ descriptions of everything are in very fine details, conjuring up full images of what Melanie saw during her days with the nuns. It’s vivid and bright even when the room she’s meeting with one of the nuns is dark and gloomy (until she opens her eyes to what’s really present).

nuns

The next thing I found charming about the book was Melanie’s own voice and tone. She laughs at herself and finds humor even in the negative experiences. Fully acknowledging she will have issues with the ‘vow of silence’ helps set the stage for many moments where readers hear her ask question or speak to a nun only to realize she’s not supposed to… after a few, I felt myself reaching out to stop her — it brought levity to the topics and helped us connect with the narrator, Melanie herself, as how many of us would truly remember to keep our mouths closed! But it was when she began talking to herself out loud in the hallways as she explored the buildings and grounds where I realized she’s actually quite savvy at embracing the virtues of the order in her own way. And it helps lead to the answers she’s been searching for.

The journey is one that provided opportunity to learn — both for Melanie and for readers. Slowing down to ask questions (even silently in your own head), to wonder how the nuns function together with little words being said, or to understand how sometimes doing nothing can be more tiring than doing something… all these theories pop into your head. I enjoyed this break from my normal reading style and genre, but I also enjoyed learning about someone else’s life and thoughts. It’s important to breathe in other opinions and experiences, and what better way than by reading a memoir / autobiography of a few weeks in someone’s life.

Kudos to both authors (I’m curious how’d they co-write this… interesting approach), but I also wonder whether Melanie provided a copy to the nuns for future guests in the convent? Life can be a giant circle sometimes and wouldn’t this be a way to connect the past and present together for all visitors and those interested in learning about becoming a nun… And so, you are probably asking yourself whether she became a nun after this experience. Well, here’s what happened… oh, wait, I don’t believe in spoilers for other people. Experience it yourself and go read the book. I’m confident the ending will be quite a fun surprise!

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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19 thoughts on “Book Review: The Nuns of Lemon Tree House by Melanie Mole & Robert Brooks

    thebookwormdrinketh said:
    June 30, 2018 at 9:02 AM

    Jay, have you been stalking me again?? I JUST added this to my TBR list yesterday, so this was fantastic timing! I’m glad to hear that it’s very well written, I can’t wait to get to it as it sounds really unique and interesting!

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 30, 2018 at 1:48 PM

      I totally have. But not that I’m following you. I just tapped into your network and have everything you do sent to me, so then I can do stuff like this. BTW, tomorrow you’re going to add a book called… ha, never mind! LOL

      It’s a lite memoir, fun to digest in a couple of hours!

      Liked by 2 people

        thebookwormdrinketh said:
        June 30, 2018 at 1:52 PM

        Ha ha! If you review another book tomorrow that I just added I’m going to be seriously freaked out. 😉💖

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 30, 2018 at 1:55 PM

        I only have 1 review left to write today for Didi Oviatt’s Aggravated Momentum. Otherwise I’ll be reading a book I know you haven’t read as it’s not released yet (but it’s a cozy and the first in the series was AMAZEBALLS). And then I’m starting Night Circus. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        thebookwormdrinketh said:
        June 30, 2018 at 1:58 PM

        Ooo! I DID just add Didi’s book to my TBR! ❤️💖 Can’t wait to get to that one!
        I’m excited to check out your review on this cozy you speak of. I do love amazeballs!! 😍😄🍻

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 30, 2018 at 3:18 PM

        Haha. Now I wanna watch spaceballs! Too funny on Didi’s book.

        Liked by 1 person

        thebookwormdrinketh said:
        June 30, 2018 at 1:53 PM

        … Or flattered… I haven’t decided which. 😘😂

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 30, 2018 at 1:55 PM

        it depends on whether I use the powers for good or evil????

        Liked by 1 person

        thebookwormdrinketh said:
        June 30, 2018 at 1:59 PM

        True…… That didn’t end in maniacal laughter… Maybe that’s a good thing. 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 30, 2018 at 3:19 PM

        Or will it sneak up on you when you….. hahahahahahahajheheheehhehe BOOM… expect it

        Liked by 1 person

        thebookwormdrinketh said:
        June 30, 2018 at 3:22 PM

        I actually looked behind me when I read that. Jay??……. Are you there?? (the funniest thing is that the wind blew the door open to my store right when I read this, so my employee said “was that the wind??” and I said “OR WAS IT JAY??”… He was very confused. 😂😂)

        Liked by 2 people

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 30, 2018 at 5:44 PM

        Nope. Doppelgänger must be loose again.

        Liked by 1 person

    You may have noticed, but I don’t read much in the way of nonfiction. This sounds too fascinating to resist!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 30, 2018 at 7:44 PM

      It’s less than 5 percent for me too. I know the author and she’s quite wonderful. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    July 2, 2018 at 8:24 PM

    You always find such interesting books that are so inviting. Great review and even though I do not read a lot of non-fiction, I will be adding this one.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 3, 2018 at 7:07 AM

      I do have a bit of range! LOL 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        carhicks said:
        July 3, 2018 at 7:10 AM

        Nothing wrong with that, it gives you so much more to read that way. I always say that I am an ecclectic reader, that is why my TBR shelf has thousands of books on it.

        Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    July 10, 2018 at 8:05 PM

    Intriguing post.

    Liked by 1 person

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