Nicole Helget
The Turtle Catcher
September 01, 2019 Comments.. 129
The Turtle Catcher A standout fiction debut by a prize winning young writer whose memoir The Summer of Ordinary Ways was a favorite of critics and booksellers Nicole Helget s fierce and lyrical memoir of growing up on
  • Title: The Turtle Catcher
  • Author: Nicole Helget
  • ISBN: 9780618753123
  • Page: 298
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A standout fiction debut by a prize winning young writer whose memoir, The Summer of Ordinary Ways, was a favorite of critics and booksellers Nicole Helget s fierce and lyrical memoir of growing up on a Minnesota dairy farm received widespread acclaim.People magazine hailed the young author s ability to take the messiest of lives and fashion something beautiful Here, inA standout fiction debut by a prize winning young writer whose memoir, The Summer of Ordinary Ways, was a favorite of critics and booksellers Nicole Helget s fierce and lyrical memoir of growing up on a Minnesota dairy farm received widespread acclaim.People magazine hailed the young author s ability to take the messiest of lives and fashion something beautiful Here, in her first novel,Helget turns her extraordinary sensibility to a haunting love story with a heinous crime at its core.In a rural Minnesota town of German immigrants in the tumultuous days ofWorldWar I, The Turtle Catcher brings together two misfits from warring clans Liesel, the one girl in the upstanding family of Richter boys, harbors a secret about her body that thwarts all hope for a normal life.Her closest friend is Lester, the slow boy in the raffish Sutter family, a gentle, kind soul who spends his days trapping turtles in the lake Yearning for human touch in the wake of her parents deaths, Liesel turns to her only friend leading her brother, just returned from the war, to an act that will haunt not only both families but the entire town.Helget s novel is a story of loyalty and betrayal that, like her earlier book, proves her uncommon understanding of the natural world and human frailties Both moving and heartfelt, The Turtle Catcher confirms this young writer s exceptional talent.
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      298 Nicole Helget
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      Posted by:Nicole Helget
      Published :2019-09-01T13:55:55+00:00

    1 Blog on “The Turtle Catcher

    1. Barbara says:

      This is a very unusual story, unexpected for sure, especially considering life on a farm wouldn t sound very interesting to many readers It is spell binding, emotional, haunting, and the writing is almost poetic at times Descriptions are beautifully written without distracting from the story There s romance, mystery, history, and characters to be laughed at and cried for I read it in two days, and to heck with laundry, TV and the restI couldn t put it down I didn t want it to end, but found the [...]

    2. Becky says:

      I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher I was excited to read it, because, if you know me at all, you know that I love me some gut wrenchers, and this book seemed to have all the makings of one The first part of this book, which is only 26 pages, starts the book off in horrifying and tragic fashion Even for someone like me who loves books that push me to see the ugliness and unfairness and atrocities of life, I read this part with wide, unbelieving eyes This part of the book [...]

    3. Colienne says:

      2.5 stars because I d actually fluctuate between 2 and 3 stars.2 stars because I felt depressed after putting the book down I realized nothing good happened to any of the characters and that was just plain depressing.3 stars because the content was interesting I d never thought about Germans living in America during World War 1 and I appreciated how the writer made me think about this tricky situation The title is misleading though this story was not about Lester Sutter, but about everyone livin [...]

    4. Ruth says:

      As I was cruising the new books shelf in our local library, this book jumped out into my hand I d never heard of it, nor of the writer, whose earlier memoir set in the same area apparently garnered praise and awards This is her first book of fiction.It s a winner Achingly beautiful in its writing, it tells the intertwined tales of the German immigrants and their neighbors of New Germany, Minnesota At its heart is Liesl, who harbors what she thinks is a shameful secret about her body Her only fri [...]

    5. Tony says:

      Helget, Nicole THE TURTLE CATCHER 2009 1 2 The author sets out to chronicle a family saga The saga ends in New Germany, MN, but starts in Germany in the mid 1800s After World War I, Herman Richter, who had lost one arm in one of many battles, returned home to his father s farm in rural Minnesota to find that his only sister, Leisel, was unmarried, but known to be cavorting with the retarded son of a non German farmer A whole series of events involving Herman and his consort, Betty, are described [...]

    6. Kirsta says:

      Here is an example of true, living, breathing characters These are the kind of people that you think about when you are not with them as you wash dishes, you re thinking about Leisel washing dishes I ve started another book a good one but I wish that it was these characters I was with still This is the story of German Americans during WWI This is a war I know little of and the story of the conflicts within the recently arrived German community as their neighbors make Germans out to be monsters H [...]

    7. Sandra says:

      The first chapter of The Turtle Catcher left me breathlessThe setting is rural Minnesota 1920 s and the first chapter describes how three brothers take the law into their own hands when they discover a neighborhood boy has taken advantage of their sister They march him into the nearest lake and help him drown Later you discover that the sister was not telling the truth about what the boy did to her She has her own secret I also like that the book teaches me about the 1920 s time period and what [...]

    8. Stephanie says:

      1 cup As I Lay Dying1 cup To Kill a Mocking Bird1 cup All Quiet on the Western Front so I m told 3 tbsp MiddlesexThe book had its moments I just felt like the author was trying to cover a little too much ground I felt empathy for many of the characters, hatred for others but never really connected with any of them.

    9. Valeta Drake says:

      Too creepy to enjoy reading The story structure and phrasing were well done.

    10. Mary says:

      Really liked this book the farm living, relationships, etc However some of Liesel s storyline was a bit ridiculous The book , otherwise, was excellent and I will look for others by this author.

    11. Katie says:

      The writing is amazing, but I cannot discern how I feel about the story

    12. Nicole says:

      Weighty without being onerous Beautifully constructed characters and well executed story with just a touch of creepy.

    13. Sam Branstner says:

      What a pleasant surprise Admittedly, I picked up this book from my local library simply because I liked the title I read the first paragraph of the first chapter and I was hooked This is a complex, haunting story rooted in southern Minnesota it is very well written even poetic at times and I had a hard time putting it down Author Nicole Helget grew up in Minnesota and is a graduate of Mankato State I will be reading of her work.

    14. Buchdoktor says:

      Wer Anfang des 20 Jahrhunderts in New Germany, einer Siedlung deutscher Auswanderer in Minnesota, berleben will, muss hart sein Frieda und Magdalena zeigen diese H rte schon, als sie sich die Auswanderung in die USA erk mpfen Magdalena erwartete im Deutschland der Jahrhundertwende ein Kind von einem j dischen Mann, mit dem eine Heirat undenkbar war Die schwangere Magdalena heiratet kurz nach ihrer Ankunft in Minnesota den zwanzig Jahre lteren deutschen Farmer Wilhelm Richter, ihre Schwester Frie [...]

    15. Missy Sherriff says:

      Really of a 2.5, but I m rounding up based upon this author s obvious potential If you have ever taken a creative writing class, you may be familiar with the common assignment of rewriting one if your existing stories from a different point of view, or using a different structure or a different timeline.or even shifting the genre This book felt like a compilation of all of the above to me, and it was all a bit too much Nicole Helget has a definite talent for crafting a paragraph There is poetry [...]

    16. Jane says:

      How appropriate that I read this book while spending the weekend largely in New Ulm, MN Helget s base for this novel is New Germany, MN, which is really based on New Ulm and nearby Sleepy Eye due to Davis mite hockey tournament there I kept looking up from the book to check out something in the town s visitors guide only to discover Helget really had based a lot of the story on historical facts surrounding the town and its rocky start with German immigrants, the Dakota Sioux uprising, and the co [...]

    17. John says:

      Set mostly in a small Minnesota town during and after World War I, The Turtle Catcher opens with a simple but horrific event Much of the rest of the book is spent retracing the layers of complex events leading to that point There s much to like here Nicole Helget uses words and sentences beautifully She s an imaginative storyteller, keeping the reader off balance This doesn t read like a novel that anyone else could have written There s quite a bit of sex in The Turtle Catcher, and it s explici [...]

    18. Theresa says:

      This is the story of the Richter family and how the secrets of the family members effect their lives.They are recent German immigrants to New Germany, Minnesota Their children attend the local school, where classes are taught in German Then WWI breaks out in Europe and the townspeople find themselves held under suspicion and their traditions and language banned.Then there are the secrets of the Richter s mother, Magdelena Maggie and the daughter, Liesl.The story opens shortly after WWI and Herma [...]

    19. Karen says:

      The German and German American characters of this World War I novel make this tale From the first chapter, the reader knows the novel s conclusion, knows that the story ends with the murder of a retarded man accused of rape The rest of the book is a rewinding to time before the murder, in some cases a rewinding to a time before the conception of some of the major players in this tale Small town lusts, family secrets, and shame play major roles in the tragedies to come, as does the divisive natur [...]

    20. Jennifer says:

      Three and a half stars.I can t really write about the plot because in doing so I d give just about everything away I will say that I ve read than my fair share of dark books, but this is perhaps the bleakest, most brutal thing I have ever read I found it to be mostly well written, although some of the shifts in the plot were exasperating the entire chapter detailing William Richter s childhood, upbringing, and adulthood seemed really displaced It would have been fine if this was the general str [...]

    21. Nancy says:

      Liesel Richter and Lester Sutter are outcasts in their pre World War I Wisconsin community of New Germany Liesel is the illegitimate daughter of a young German woman and her Jewish lover When her sister finds out that she is pregnant, she arranges for the two of them to leave Germany and settle in the United States where she quickly finds husbands for each of them Liesel is born with some kind of anomaly and is kept at the family farm by her mother because of it Lester, the son of the neighborin [...]

    22. Katie says:

      Unfortunately, I thought this book was terrible I ve rarely read such a poorly written, borderline silly novel Featured are the following melodramatic components a hermaphrodite, a mentally disabled man and the supernatural The author never manages to weave these elements together, and it seems as if the goal was merely to titillate with all of these novel characters and happenings I agree with whoever said the language was too contemporary My edition was also poorly edited, with grammar mistake [...]

    23. Rita says:

      Thought provoking and insighteful As a Minnesota girl, born and bread, I felt comforted yet intrigued Helget develops interesting characters whose simplicity gives them depth My heart aches for Liesel for her shy demeanor and longing to be normal which pushes her to Lester Sutter My heart aches so for Herman Such a gentle soul wanting nothing than to do what s right for him and his country and in spite of his father s wishes, he follows his heart and his mind The resulting tortured soul tears [...]

    24. Barner says:

      Written by a woman growing up on a southern MN Farm, the setting of the novel, the story tells of treatment of Germans in the town of New Germany, MN during WWI The turtle catcher is a backward man who is skilled at catching turtles, but little else and who also suffers from unforgiveable treatment from his brutish father He is befriended by a girl slightly deformed and thus feeling an outcast and their friendship leads to the opening scene in which the girl s three brothers drown the turtle cat [...]

    25. Kelsey Miller says:

      I can t seem to get this book out of my head I don t know why, since I both enjoyed it but was disappointed by itIn essence, the book is an exploration of self are we what we are or who we are For me, the summation of the book is the interaction between Frieda and Uncle Boris no or spoiler But I felt the book was perhaps a bit too ambitious Each narrative in itself was compelling Leisel and her trauma, Herman s anguish during and from the war, the tension of new immigrants between their new cou [...]

    26. Joanne says:

      This book begins with a horrific incident and there are at least two after that Those parts of the book probably decreased my rating from 3 1 2 stars to 3 Otherwise, the rest of the book is the story of an immigrant family why they immigrated, how conflicting loyalties affected the family, damaged members of the family, interactions with longer residents of Minnesota native Americans, etc The author is a very good story teller and the characters are well developed, however, I would have preferr [...]

    27. Nancy says:

      I liked this book but also agree with the other reviewers that perhaps the author tried to accomplish too much in this novel about German American immigrant farmers in new Germantown, Minnesota during the years surrounding world war one.The characters are all somewhat exaggerated very good or very bad Leisel is the central figure a young hermaphrodite who lives at home and cares for her brothers her mother dying in child birth when Leisel is 12 The bitterness and conflicts that were part of this [...]

    28. Jodi says:

      The first twenty six pages of Nicole Helget s The Turtle Catcher are so intense that you will find yourself gasping for air while reading them, having become so engrossed you forget to breathe The book opens with the three remaining Richter boys pointing guns at Lester Sutter, the town s not quite right guy, and demanding he walk into the middle of Spider Lake They have filled his pockets with rocks and sewn them shut They are killing him because of some impropriety between Lester and their sist [...]

    29. Vivfischer says:

      Nicole Helget captures the combination of stoicism and hardness that ensured survival in the late 19th early 20th century in rural Minnesota The plight of well established German immigrant farmers as tensions arose in the year leading up to World War I provides the tension against which is set the personal story of Liesel Richter, a sister essentially imprisoned on her farm caring for 3 brothers and father, with little hope of future options Some of the characters her brothers, for example were [...]

    30. Su says:

      This book had such an explosive beginning that you couldn t help but read through to the end The author herself is a graduate of Mankato State University, same as me, and grew up in southern Minnesota, ditto.She sets her story in a fictional town of New Germany, Minnesota during and after the first World War It is a dark and brooding story, but also very much describes what life must have been like for Minnesota inhabitants during both the Sioux Uprising of 1862 flashbacks and WWI Should these G [...]

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