Review: The Laws of Harmony

The Laws of Harmony is the fourth book written by Judi Hendricks. Scroll down a bit for her complete biography.

This is the story of Sunny Cooper who grew up on a commune and flees at eighteen after her younger sister’s accidental death; she’s needs to get away from her mother's hippie lifestyle.

Fourteen years later Sunny seems to have made a life for herself until her fiancĂ©e’s dies. She struggles to find the answers to who he really was and where her life is going. No longer certain of anything she flees again in search of a life she can believe in.

Remember, the Joy is in the journey, not the destination, and you're already here. This is an enjoyable novel about a woman lost and trying to find her way through life.

Click here to visit Judi’s blog.

Click here to listen to Judi Hendricks interview with Bookclub Girl

Author Q&A

Tell us a little about yourself (biography): I was born in Silcon Valley when it was called the Santa Clara Valley, or more poetically, the Valley of Heart’s Delight, because it was a lovely, bucolic place known for its orchards and sleepy small towns.

The first thing I remember writing when I was about seven years old was a story about a family whose Christmas tree went missing. That was followed by a few plays written with my best friend Lynn Davis and performed in her garage to a captive audience of intimidated younger kids. The plays were mostly outer space/cowboy stories—don’t ask. In junior high it was gothic romance thrillers and high school was given over to bad poetry about the varsity basketball team.

My checkered college career encompassed numerous schools and involved changing my major a lot. When I finally graduated with a degree in journalism, I seemed doomed to drift from one job to another—journalist, substitute teacher, public relations for the phone company, public television, advertising, airline res agent, travel agent and baker, never quite getting it right.

Finally during a period of enforced unemployment that followed a serious surgery, I decided on a whim to take a writing seminar at UC Irvine. It was like sitting down in an unfamiliar chair and finding it so comfortable you never want to get up.

When I was working on my first novel, Bread Alone, I was possessed. There weren’t enough hours in the day that I could spend writing. I was constantly beating myself up for not having started writing seriously before the age of fifty. I worried about the time I’d wasted in all those other jobs where I was bored and unhappy and not particularly good. And then one day it just came to me that all the unimportant stuff wasn’t unimportant at all. That it was actually a necessary—one might even say crucial—stage that I had to pass through on my way to becoming a writer.

Do you write daily? I try very hard to write every day, even if it’s just a page or two, because if I don’t, I get cranky.

What do you think of the electronic book (kindles and such)? I can see certain advantages, but for myself, they’re too much like reading a computer screen, and they’ll never replace the feel of a book in my hands.

What is one tip that you can share with aspiring writers? Read! It’s how you learn to write.

What are you reading now? American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Lastly, share one or two of your all time favorite novels read, excluding classics: In a Dark Wood Wandering by Hella Haasse, Blue Rodeo by Jo-Ann Mapson, At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen

Type: Fiction, 496 pages, trade paperback

Sunny Cooper has been running since she was eighteen—from the New Mexican commune where she grew up . . . and from the haunting memory of the freak accident that took the life of her younger sister. Now, at thirty-two, Sunny voices radio spots in Albuquerque while struggling to hold on to a floundering relationship. But when a second tragic accident—and the devastating truths that come to light in its aftermath—turns her world upside down, Sunny runs again.
In the town of Harmony on San Miguel Island, she takes a new job, learns to ride a motorcycle, and makes some surprising new friends. But the past is never far behind. A startling discovery—along with an emotional and revelatory reunion with her estranged mother—is forcing Sunny to step out from the shadows of yesterday to embrace an uncertain future

Reviews:“Hendricks call to mind Barbara Kingsolver in her affinity for wise women and the power of close female friendships” – Booklist

“Hendricks writing is graceful, funny, and poignant – and best of all, she is a master of women’s stories.” – Jo Ann Mapson, author of Bad Girl Creek