Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sweeping up Glass by Carolyn D. Wall

I read the accolades about this Kentucky book, long before I picked it up to read it as our March selection for book club. And I must admit, I was pulled into the story from the opening page and did not want to put the book down. The prose was so rich and magical that it was hard for me to believe this was a debut novel. I also admit that I have a fondness for plucky heroines who battle against the odds in a bleak landscape and this book definitely fits that bill as well.

Someone is killing the beautiful silver faced wolves on Olivia Harker's property in depression era Kentucky, and she intends to find out who, and put a stop to it. In the process, we learn about Olivia's childhood with a mother who rejected and ignored her, then slipped into madness and had to be institutionalized, and a father who she adored. Her life is composed of taking care of her grandson and working very, very hard to make ends meet. She is friends with the blacks of the town at a time when segregation ruled and lynchings were very common. This book has so many different themes, expressed so beautifully--racism, family and community, poverty, coming of age, standing up for what you believe in, all brought together in a powerful character study of real people, told so well that you can practically smell their sweat and experience their stuggle right along side them.

I highly recommend this very engaging story that delivers a huge emotional wallop.

1 comment:

Marie said...

I have SWEEPING UP GLASS in my TBR pile but I was considering getting rid of it- but you just convinced me to keep it. Thanks!

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