Tuesday, November 08, 2011
I was drawn in quickly and held tight to the end. I would not want to be Olivia: from childhood through her experience as a grandparent, life was harsh, impoverished, and filled with pain. There are moments of happiness, small treasures in a world of misery; the greatest of these is her grandson. Together they find hope, friendship, and love in their small Kentucky community. They also find a world of troubles. Most of their problems are no mystery.
The only reason I gave Sweeping up Glass four stars instead of five is the mystery. The plot is excellent, but for mystery readers, the puzzle is weak. In talking with Carolyn, I discovered she did not write this book with the intention of marketing it as a mystery, but the book was picked up by Poisoned Pen, a mystery publisher. They took it on the strength of the writing and the fact that the search to find out who was killing Olivia’s beloved wolves was a mystery element in an otherwise literary novel.
Whatever you think of the reasoning, I am very glad the book was published and would like to see more from Carolyn Wall. If you come to the book without the expectation of untangling a great mystery, I’m sure you will be delighted with the story. I highly recommend you read this book.