Thursday, July 16, 2009

Review: Sweeping Up Glass

Sweeping Up Glass
By Carolyn Wall
319 pages

I got a copy of this book a while back as an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) from Random House Publishing Group. It was described as "a mystery, a love story, and a haunting rumination on secrets" and it's definitely all of that and more!

Sweeping Up Glass begins with the grown main character, Olivia Harker Cross, living in the house that she grew up in in Pope County, Kentucky with her crazy mother and beloved grandson, Will'm. The wolves that her ancestors had brought to their land are being killed as a warning and she needs to get to the bottom of it before the hunters come after her and Will'm. In order to find out the reason behind the killing of the wolves, Olivia must delve into her troubled past (living with her bootlegger father while her mother is in an asylum, understanding segregation, the return of her mother, a terrible accident, the loss of her love, the birth of her daughter, and the pain of her daughter running away and leaving her infant grandson there for her to raise, etc!). As Olivia looks back, she thought then that she was so smart and understood what was going on around her when really, things occurred that she didn't see at all. Once she figures it out, it changes her life completely.

There were great twists in this book that I really enjoyed. The writing style really brought me into the story by using just enough dialect from the time and location. The only thing that was slightly confusing to me was the time period. It seems like between her childhood and the present time (in the story) there was about a 40 year lapse putting the years of her childhood around 1910-1920s maybe? then her present time around 1950-1960's? But that just didn't seem right to me since things around her didn't change very much technology-wise and there was no mention of the World Wars or any events of the time. I guess maybe things don't change too much when you are in the country...but I think that some time references that the beginning of the chapters or putting the book into sections based on years would have been helpful while reading. Other than that, I really liked it and would recommend it to others if you're looking for a fast-paced, interesting read.

7.5 out of 10 stars.


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