Update! The winner of my copy of the book is Nancy! I've sent you an e-mail.
I was contacted a while ago about reviewing a book, which was supposed to have some sewing/quilting. I received Whiter Than Snow, by Sandra Dallas and read it pretty much straight through.
The inside jacket's blurb is
On a spring afternoon in 1920, Swandyke-a small town new Colorado's Tenmile Range- is changed forever. Just moments after four o'clock, a large split of snow separates from Jubilee Mountain high about the tiny hamlet and hurtles down the rocky sleep, enveloping everything in its path.
Meet the residents....
Fate, chance and perhaps divine providence all collide in the everyday lives of these people. And ultimately, no one is without sin, no one's soul is whiter than snow, and no one is without the need for forgiveness.
A quintessential American voice and writer of exquisite historical detail, Sandra Dallas illuminates the resilience of the human spirit in her newest novel.
The first half of the book has a chapter with a back story, how-they-got-here kind of thing. The second half deals with a mining town in Colorado and a winter time tragedy and how the town comes together, and briefly touches on each of the characters resolution. The whole book is essentially seeing how the lives of these very different people intersect at one time and place.
Not telling you a lot? I know but I don't want to spoil it if you decide to read the book.
I will tell you it is a meandering book, its a slow story but very well written. Your heart will break, and the book won't leave you with a happy feel. Well, maybe it will but I didn't put it down feeling happy, but I then I get into a well written book, regardless if I want to.
Now one of the problems I have with this story is that the jacket cover does not really give you enough information about the actual story, and if you've lost a child, as I have, this will be a heart wrenching read, and you are not given any warning of that until you start to read. Though having just look it up on Amazon it does tell you more of the actual story line there.
My second issue, was when I was offered this book much was said about quilting, and the author's ability to give a lot to a character with the way she sewed/quilted. There are maybe half a dozen references to it in the entire novel, none of which are particularly telling or important in anyway. So again I don't feel like I had to read this novel, nor is it going to be of any additional interest to quilters than anyone else. Her other works apparently have more quilting in them but this one really didn't have more than a few mentions, The Persian Pickle Club has much more.
Having said that I know there are many out there who would enjoy Whiter Than Snow, but I've had enough real tragedy in my life that I don't feel I got anything from reading the book except a few hours of interest and some more heartache.
One word of praise is for the depiction of a variety of reactions to grief. I thought it to be realistic and individual, which is the way of it in life.
So there's my review, it was a good book, well written and emotional engaging but not of any special interest to quilters, and not for those who feel there is enough in real life to cry about that we don't need it from a story.
I'd like to read more of her work. It was really well written, and I could see how I'd enjoy some of the other books...just not more children dying.
I had read an excerpt of another book with awesome quilting, which really did add to the characters etc. So I'm going to keep an eye out at the library or if I get to a book store.
I'm giving away my copy so if you'd like it just leave me a comment telling me so and I'll draw, say Monday.