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Playing with Matches by Carolyn Wall
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Playing with Matches

by Carolyn Wall

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6231191,731 (3.42)7

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
This book was beautifully developed. The characters were finely drawn and three-dimensional. The sense of time and place were very realistic and it was extremely easy to get caught up in this story. Definitely recommend. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
Liked it but no where near the level of 'Sweeping up Glass', which I LOVED. Good but not great. ( )
  erinclark | Mar 17, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Carolyn Wall has a real knack for character development. While I sometimes felt the story was a bit disjointed in jumping back and forth between young Clea Shine's life and her life as an adult, the strong and very interesting cast of characters in the book helped negate that feeling. Wall enables you to get a real feel for the people of False River Mississippi, the good, the bad and the ugly.
  phlegmmy | Feb 6, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this book while I reading it, but looking back on it I’m not sure how much I really liked it. There were some things that really bugged me, the jump of approximately 20 years in between two of the chapters; it just skips forward in time unexpectedly and without much detail about what happened during those missing years. I also didn’t really like the story line with the boy who lived in the tree; I really wanted more out of him. I really liked the beginning when Clea was a girl, I didn’t really like her as an adult and maybe that’s a point of the story. But even after everything she went through as an adult back in Mississippi I still didn’t really like her, I didn’t feel like she had changed, and I wanted young Clea back. The ending wasn’t my favorite either, I’m not sure if the big storm coming was necessary, it just all got really dramatic and I didn’t enjoy it. One thing I did like about this book was the southern setting. You really got a good feel for the town and the locals. But I really felt like this book should’ve either focused on the younger years of Clea or the adulthood, trying to do both didn’t work for me. The book is well written and I can see it appealing to some readers, just be aware of that weird split in the middle.

For a more in depth and personal review see my blog:
http://explanniefyfed.blogspot.com/2013/01/book-review-playing-with-matches-by.h... ( )
  afyfe | Jan 22, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
clea is a white girl abandoned at birth by her prostitute mother. she lives with a black family headed by aunt jerusha. one night while staying at her mothers trailer clea lights up a cigarette and lets it burn to the filter. thus the trashy trailer burns down killing her mother.
  Devlindusty | Jan 9, 2013 |
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Epigraph
They people shall be my people. —Ruth 1:16
Dedication
This book is for
Darrell, Bill, Melvin, Harold, Ron,
Charles, Jack, Lloyd, and Doug, with love.
All these years, I don't know what
I would have done without you.
First words
If there's help for the little guy—for my Harry, who won't talk—it'll be north on a green elbow of the slow-moving Pearl River.
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Book description
When I felt truly lost—which was most of the time—I went out to the narrow lot and sat down in the weeds. From there I could observe both houses. After all, I had two eyes, didn’t I? Two nostrils, two arms, two knobby knees. The trouble was, I had only one heart.

Growing up in False River, Mississippi, Clea Shine learned early that a small town is no place for big secrets. Having fled years ago in the wake of a tragedy and now settled with a family of her own, she faces a turning point in her marriage and seeks refuge in the one place she vowed never to return.

Clea’s homecoming is bittersweet. Reunited with Jerusha Lovemore, the kindly neighbor who raised her, Clea gains a sense of love and comfort, but still cannot escape the ghosts of her past: the abandonment by her disreputable mother, her constant search for belonging, the truth behind that fateful night from long ago. Once outspoken and impulsive, Clea now seeks only redemption and peace of mind. And as a hurricane threatens to hit False River, everything she has tried to forget may finally be exposed once and for all.

A mesmerizing and poignant work by a master of the Southern novel, Playing with Matches is a stunning tale of guilt, forgiveness, and the enduring bonds of family.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345525698, Paperback)

When I felt truly lost—which was most of the time—I went out to the narrow lot and sat down in the weeds. From there I could observe both houses. After all, I had two eyes, didn’t I? Two nostrils, two arms, two knobby knees. The trouble was, I had only one heart.

Growing up in False River, Mississippi, Clea Shine learned early that a small town is no place for big secrets. Having fled years ago in the wake of a tragedy and now settled with a family of her own, she faces a turning point in her marriage and seeks refuge in the one place she vowed never to return.

Clea’s homecoming is bittersweet. Reunited with Jerusha Lovemore, the kindly neighbor who raised her, Clea gains a sense of love and comfort, but still cannot escape the ghosts of her past: the abandonment by her disreputable mother, her constant search for belonging, the truth behind that fateful night from long ago. Once outspoken and impulsive, Clea now seeks only redemption and peace of mind. And as a hurricane threatens to hit False River, everything she has tried to forget may finally be exposed once and for all.  

A mesmerizing and poignant work by a master of the Soutern novel, Playing with Matches is a stunning tale of guilt, forgiveness, and the enduring bonds of family.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:24 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Hardened by the abuses of her family, Clea packs up her kids and drives to the clapboard house of her childhood guardian, a woman with whom she has shared an abiding bond that is tested by Clea's exploration of her painful past as part of an effort to understand the elusive nature of happiness.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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Carolyn Wall is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Carolyn Wall chatted with LibraryThing members from Aug 17, 2009 to Aug 28, 2009. Read the chat.

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