Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway

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.

14 comments:

Nancy said...

I did enjoy another book of hers so I would love to read this one. I have a pile of books in that someday pile so always room for one more.

Jo said...

I have read ALL of her other books and LOVE them. Alice's Tulips has LOTS of quilting reference...The Diary of Mattie Spenser is wonderful too. Tallgrass and Prayers for Sale are also SO good. I know that they don't always have a happy ending but that's what I like. Even if it's sad, it's more like reality than the reality shows out there. I haven't read this one but would LOVE to win it. I'd love the chance to review it too!

Kristy Lou said...

Sounds interesting. I'd like to read it.

Terry said...

I have this book to read too, and now I'm not too excited about starting it. But I will as I've read her "Prayers for Sale" and it was good. I'll just hope for the best! :0)

Peaceful Piecer said...

I would love to read this.

Nancy said...

I would love to add this to my side table stack...
Right now I am reading "The Girl who played with Fire"... It's the sequel to "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" and I am really enjoying it...

Quilt Hollow said...

Isn't it hard to read a book or even watch a movie that leaves you feeling sad? My husband hates movies when a pet dies...I think Ole Yeller impacted him as a child. I hear what your saying...but too am curious so would love my name in the draw.

James-Linda said...

I'd love it! Love all her books!
Thanks Cara!

jldouglas@wispwest.net

busymom said...

Your review has interested me. Thanks for offering the book as a giveaway.

Shelley said...

I love Sandra Dallas books and would love to read this one!

quiltmom said...

I have read a number of MS. Dallas's books and enjoyed them all Cara. I am sorry that it was a book that was sad and was about loss- her other books are not so much like that. There are a few authors out there that I don't read if I need something that will make me feel happy or be pure escape. For example: Jodi Picoult is a good writer but she is has difficult topics that are a very emotional read.
If you want a quilter to read that will make you laugh check out Lisa Boyer " That Dorky Homemade look." She has a couple of books that are a collection of her columns. They are short stories and she is quite funny.
Thanks for the chance to win Sandra's new book.
Regards,
Anna

Lis said...

Thank you for your very full and informative review, it was very well written. Don't include me in the giveaway - if I won it would cost you a heap to post the book to Uk and I can borrow it from the local library :)

Lisa said...

Sounds very interesting, I'm an avid reader.

Quilter Kathy said...

Sounds like an interesting read. I'm just finishing up the Marie Bostwick series.