Cover Image: The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green

The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green

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Member Reviews

This has been sitting on my TBR shelf for quite some time and I finally got to it! This unique story is about Daniel Green making crop circles as a part of an underground group called The Circlers. Sam, a farmer in Vermont seeks Daniel's help in an effort to bring life back to his small town, thus beginning a story about friendship, family, love, forgiveness, and community.

I wanted to truly love this novel. I was quickly impressed by Erica Boyce's writing and was certain that this would be one of my favorite reads in a while. Unfortunately, it wasn't. I've seen plenty of fantastic reviews and I think for the right person, this could be a wonderful read. But for me, the pacing was just too slow. I know there was one part when Daniel was on a road trip, I think with Nessa, and at that point, I was worried about falling asleep. I loved the themes of this novel and the wonderful messages that are included in it, but it just wasn't the right fit for me.

*Thanks to NetGalley for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Interesting concept, but some reason could not hold my attention for a longer time. I may get back to reading this again sometime later.
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Book about crop circles? I had my doubts but Erica Boyce completely surprised me. This was a sweet story about family, friendships and love. The characters were people who could be your neighbors...without the crop circles, or course. This story gave me all the feels.

Book about crop circles? I had my doubts but Erica Boyce completely surprised me. This was a sweet story about family, friendships and love. The characters were people who could be your neighbors...without the crop circles, or course. This story gave me all the feels. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Sam Barts is a farmer in Vermont who is watching his small town decline while his health does the same. As a last ditch effort to attract people to his town, he comes across an underground group called "The Circlers" who are volunteers that create crop circles. Sam hires them and Daniel Green is assigned to the job.

So begins this lovely story which is all about love, family, and community. It was just as interesting to me in terms of the descriptions of a small town farming community as it was to learn about the Circlers (loosely based on circlemakers.org). I fell in love with all of the characters and appreciated how the author was able to draw out their past and flaws in a real way that had a nice build up and never felt forced.

Highly recommended to those who enjoy character driven novels and are looking for something with a unique base story. (Yes, I went and researched crop circles as soon as I finished the novel! lol)

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I laughed, I cried, and my heart broke while reading about Daniel and Sam's family. This book does contain difficult content, but Boyce did a wonderful job writing it in a respectful way. I honestly adored this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good family drama or a sweet love story.

The three reasons I loved this book:

~ I loved how this book handled the family relationships and touched on obstacles that can destroy a family. This was the source of most of my tears while reading and it helped me connect deeply with the characters of this book. There isn't a perfect family out there and the imperfections within the families of this book make it so relatable.

~I loved the messages of forgiveness and hope and how it emphasized the importance of accepting people for who they are. You can't cure certain mental illnesses, but you can be there for loved ones while they try to find their balance of daily life.

~The book held my attention from the very beginning and I didn't want to put it down. I enjoyed how unique the plot of this novel was and how it was something completely different than what I have been reading recently. The characters were relatable and I fell for Daniel a bit more with each page I read.

What kept me from giving it 5⭐?

~I would have liked a few more chapters or an epilogue. I know it's a sign it was a good book when you felt it was too short, but I would have liked a bit more at the end.

Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for a review copy. A positive review was not required and all opinions are my own.
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My thoughts

Narrative and plot


The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green is definitely one of my top reads this summer. The story is told from the perspective of three people, Daniel, Nessa and her mother Molly. This book is all about family ties, the way we perceive our loved ones. And sometimes it is our very own thoughts and assumptions that drifts us away from the people we love the most. 

The plot is simple and straightforward. Sam, a dying farmer, hires Daniel, a crop circler and the rest of the book is how their lives change afterwards. There were some portions that felt a little dragged but it did make up with enough reason for doing so. In short, this was an emotional read and at the same time left you with a sense of hope.



Characters and Conflict

Each character in this book is crafted carefully and lovingly. Each one loyal to his or her own faults as well as strengths. The main characters in particular struggle with themselves and reflect upon how each of their relationships are affected by their thoughts and actions. The one thing common about the three of them - Daniel, Nessa and Molly-  is the similarity of their journey in completely different paths. How they learn to forgive themselves and let go in order to make room for hope and a future. 

One of the major conflicts of the book is to bring all these different people together. There's years of history, unresolved conflicts and words left unspoken. However, in the hour of absolute need, it is family that steps in. And family is not defined by blood ties alone. It  is just the people who love you and look out for you. Also, there aren't a lot of books that talks about farmers and their hard life. Besides this, the book talks in clear terms about mental health. In fact, it was a revelation to me knowing what exactly OCD is and I loved the way the book treated the subject. Of course this is fiction but there is heart to it and that's what you expect from stories.


Conclusion

Overall, this is a gem of a book which should definitely be discussed more. If you're a fan of family, relationships and the conflicts and drama associated with it, then this is definitely a must-read. The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green makes you empathise with the characters and touches your heart by it's sincerity and simplicity.
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THE FIFTEEN WONDERS OF DANIEL GREEN by Erica Boyce has a bit of a sci-fi vibe (crop circles), some romance, and a mystery, but it is mostly about the relationships which we develop – especially when we can be open and vulnerable to others. As such, this debut novel is a melancholy story with a hopeful, uplifting ending. Daniel Green is a young man who creates crop circles and Sam, a resilient farmer devoted to his community in Vermont, secretly engages Daniel to fashion one and create excitement about the area. All seems to be going according to plan until Sam receives bad news about his health, causing his daughter Nessa to take off on a cross country driving trip in an effort to convince her estranged brother to head back to the farm.  Daniel accompanies her and readers learn a great deal about their background stories and struggles as the narration shifts back and forth between them. In fact, several other chapters are told from the perspective of Molly, Sam's wife and Nessa's mother, further adding to an understanding about why they settled in Vermont. All of these different voices are told in the first person and that is a bit disconcerting at times although each is written beautifully. One example is when Sam and Molly are comforting each other and she thinks, "I love you in my bones. I don't say a word. Instead, I stretch my body out next to him and place my arm over his chest, my leg over his own. As if I could be a frame to house him, the beams and studs and foundation protecting him from everything."
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Told from several voices, the story of Daniel Green is a story of a small town, family, love, brokenness and forgiveness. The addition of the crop circle mystique adds another interesting layer to a well-written and carefully woven narrative. The author seamlessly moves between times in the characters' lives to explain how their past has shaped the people they've become. More importantly, how their stories intertwine and shape one another.

Several parts of the story moved very slowly. I did enjoy the writing, but the lack of plot movement made it difficult to stay engaged. I never felt truly connected to the characters even though they were quite charming and well-developed. The ending was way to abrupt and tidy for my liking. I still had so many questions that felt like key elements to the story. Mussen, Vermont felt like such an important place to the work and I wish there had been more about the town itself and why it was worth saving.
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Well written (although maybe to jam packed) story more on the line of general fiction than YA. I enjoyed it but there may have been too many storylines.
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This is what I wrote on my Goodreads page, but the link below will have what appears on the Literary Hoarders site. 


Now don't let the 3-star think this was not a good read for me. It's a very good story, and I liked it a great deal, it was just that I felt there was a lot going on inside. It felt like it was just too much sometimes. 

There was plenty inside too to remind me of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, a book I just finished before reading about Daniel Green. The small town that is petering out with the absence of the younger people to sustain it and in The Fifteen Wonders' case, it's old Sam that is desperate to save it, make something miraculous happen so that the young kids come back and see it's potential and grow to love it as much as he does. The rom-com Hallmark movie love story as well. 

Daniel Green is Sam's hope to create a stir in his small town. Daniel comes at his request to make a crop circle in his field. Sam is also dying from cancer and as the story progresses through the three perspectives (Daniel, Sam's wife Molly and their daughter Nessa) time is running out and the need to complete this circle becomes urgent. There's plenty of emotion inside and it did make for a lovely reading experience, there was just too much, I think, being thrown out there to read through to get to the real heart of the story. 

Sorry for the ramble. Thank you Netgalley for access to this debut. Boyce is releasing another novel in 2020 and I am interested in reading it.
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Thank you to Negalley and the publisher for an advance ARC in return for an honest review.

This book is about people, and people’s relationships with themselves and each other.

Daniel Green comes makes crop circles.  A secret sect who go out in the middle of the night to create a crop circle (and to think all this time I was sure they were aliens).

He travels to a small town in Vermont where a farming couple, Sam and Molly, have asked him to create a crop circle on one of their fields.  This is his 15th project, and the first without his girlfriend Claire who has passed away.

But Sam is dying, and time is against them.  Sam and Molly’s daughter Nessa arrives, and almost immediately they go on a road trip to persuade estranged son Charlie (in California) to come home before its to late.

There are multiple story lines going on here, and multiple narrators.  The novel takes a while to come into itself.  It’s not until Nessa and Daniel embark on their return journey from Charlies that it starts to come into its own.  This is a character ridden novel, with lots of different relationships going on.  

What weaves through the characters and story lines is a beautiful story that culminates in the 15th crop circle and more than a few tears shed by me.
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This is a heart-warming, magical tale that unwraps its secrets slowly.  We don’t quite know why the protagonist has chosen his calling or why he persists in spite of his apparent isolation.  He arrives at a small town in response to a request from a struggling farmer.  It’s not the first time he has arrived at this juncture but somehow, this town and this farmer, affect him in a different way.  Author Erica Boyce spins a tale filled with amazing characters and their stories are uniquely fascinating.  This book is wonderful and memorable.  I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
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DNFing at about 10%. The premise sounded interesting, so I was happy to download a free ARC via NetGalley. And I'm sure it's a heartwarming book and all, even from just this much. Not really getting into it, though. I think it's the shifting first person POV.

(X-posted to Goodreads.)
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The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green by Erica Boyce is a fiction book about... well it's about people. It's about a man who is part of a secret group that makes crop circles, but it's more than that. It's about the people in the book. Multiple people and their difficulties. It's told from many perspectives and leads the reader to care about the outcome of the characters.
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While I enjoyed the underlying aspects of the story, I did not love this book as much as I hoped. It is a story told from multiple perspectives, and all characters working through inner demons and how they overcome them. Through this storyline there were many heart warming moments of forgiveness and redemption, along with many heartbreaking moments that truly made you feel for the characters. So, while the characters were very dynamic and unique, the overall story did not cut it. There were many dull points and not much action took place. There were many places I lost interest while reading due to the slow moving plot. Despite that, the book was still beautifully written, just not my cup of tea.
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This book kept me turning the page to see what was coming next. Don't get me wrong - this isn't a thriller or mystery but I grew to care for the characters in such a way that I needed to know what happened next and how it would all resolve. It was interesting to learn about crop circles and those that create them, even if it was a simplistic view. This is a sweet story of family, mistakes, forgiveness, and ways in which our choices play out (and haunt us).
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Title:  The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green
Author:  Erica Boyce
Genre:  Fiction
Rating:  5 out of 5

Daniel Green is a member of a secret organization. He travels the country making crop circles. He loves making art in secret, art that leaves people talking and wondering what if. Daniel is no stranger to being alone, but when a Vermont farmer’s dying wish brings him to a small farming town, Daniel finds himself involved in much more than making crop circles, as the lives of the farmer’s family erupt in struggles. 

I know basically nothing about crop circles. Is this secret organization who makes them at people’s covert request based on the truth? No idea. But it’s a very cool concept, so I bought into it for this novel. The setting was so well-done that I could see this small farming town—unsettling, considering towns that small make me want to break out into hives—and its residents clearly. I enjoyed this book very much!

Erica Boyce is a member of the Massachusetts bar and an editor. The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green is her debut novel.

(Galley courtesy of Sourcebooks Landmark via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)
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This book has a weird and very cool premise, after all how many books about crop circles have you read in your life?
I opened this book thinking I would get a sweet YA story about first love with quirky characters with funny hair colours. What I got instead was more in the NA or even general fiction tradition. There are love stories in this book and familial love is present all the way through but if you are looking for just one big, fiery love story then this story might not be for you.
Other than the plot itself, the characters in this book were one of the things I most enjoyed, not because of who they were at the beginning of the book but because of the journey they were forced to walk and how they evolved from the beginning to the end.
"The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green" deals with mortality, marriage, cancer, mental wellness, OCD, small-town culture, farming, economic difficulties, grief and addiction. The story is told through the pov of several characters and the most interesting moments for me was when the same situation was seen through the eyes of people seeing from wildly different angles or the difference between what someone though of themselves and how others saw them and read completely different meanings in the same actions. In the end my absolute favorite chapter was when the character that lives with OCD describes how it is to plow through her triggers and her coping mecanisms. One of the most positive things in this book was that no matter how hard the situation someone was in, the author made sure to always give the character a support system and enphathyse all across the bookhow important having and seeking help truly is and the reader was able to see all the difference simply telling someone about their problems and asking for help made in that characters life.
Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for this ARC.
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This is initially story about crop circles – yes, those otherworldly designs that appear in fields of corn or wheat. This plot line provides the basis for a greater story both Daniel Green, the crop circler, and the family he creates it for. 

Ultimately, though, this a story about family and forgiveness. There’s a bit of symbolism in the design that Daniel creates, where circles intersect and overlap each other, just as the stories overlay and intersect each other. As such, the story is told from multiple points of view, primarily by Daniel, Molly (the wife of the farmer who hires Daniel), and Nessa, Molly and Sam’s daughter. Boyce does well to balance the voices so no one story outweighs the other, and she handles the switching of narrators well.

There is a lot of emotional stuff going on here: terminal illness, the fallout of infidelity, addiction, the effect of psychological issues on both the sufferer and those around them, and multiple strained parent-child relationships, the search for forgiveness and the sacrifices we make for others. (I did tell you that you’d need a tissue or two.)

I don’t want to give any spoilers, but there is a passage about one character’s illness, and the imagery of a pebble in a shoe is perfection. There is raw honesty in the exchanges.
People have a hard enough time understanding all the weird things that go on inside their own, normal brains. Throw in a mental illness, and they really freak.

While I wouldn’t call this a light and cheery book, The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green IS a beautifully told tale. The characters are real and flawed. Details and hints are dropped left and right, but they don’t begin to fall together at first. Instead, the pieces slowly tumble and roll around until they spill together in this incredible mosaic of a story.
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The premise was promising, but didn't fulfill my  hopes for the book.  In reality it is one of the most depressing books i have read in a long time.  Obviously I missed something.  However there was a glimmer at hope at the end.  I just wish there had been more of them.
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