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Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall
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Sweeping Up Glass

by Carolyn Wall

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Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Time span seems to be early 1900's thru the depression but ending before WWII. Setting: rural Kentucky. Olivia's mother goes "crazy" when she is born, refuses to have anything to do with her, & eventually is sent to an insane asylum. Olivia follows her father around, helping him with his animal healing/vet work and running their small grocery. She also relies on Black neighbors for guidance, help & friendship. Her mother returns home, but still has issues, & Olivia discovers sex, first as a source of love & later as a way of forgetting (or revenge). Parts of her life are swiftly dealt with, & the focus of the novel is how her anger at the hunters who have been shooting special wolves on her property gradually leads to her recognizing --& fighting--the injustice around her (an second focus is how she comes to terms with her feelings for Wing).
I admired/partly identified with Olivia: she's feisty, grumbling about having to take care of her grandson & her mother with never any time for herself. And what would she be doing if she did have time? We're never told, but we do see her grabbing a few minutes to lie on the earth to get centered, & the her beginning at making quilts from scraps develops into more thought & planning of design & color, pride in what she creates. ( )
  juniperSun | Oct 6, 2014 |
What a great little surprise this book turned out to be. At times the writing is right up there with the likes of Dorothy Allison, Donna Tartt, and (gasp... is he really going to say it?) Harper Lee.

It's the story of a strong but damaged woman who is barely ekeing out a living for her non-traditional family in the mountains of the Jim Crow South. She runs the country store, tends to her raving and uncooperartive mother, raises her grandchild as her own, and protects the endangered wolf population that sometimes wanders onto her property.

The little town is filled with sinister secrets: Some of them pertaining to the family of evil-seeming brothers who menace the population. Some of them somehow wrapped around the legacy of Olivia's bootlegger/veterinarian father.

The characters are vivid, the writing is crisp, and the reveals pack nice wallops.

Highly recommended!

( )
  JohnHastie | Apr 5, 2013 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Mar 31, 2013 |
Joanie just read.... ( )
  genejo1 | Dec 10, 2012 |
Olivia, as caretaker of her mother and grandson, lives in rural Kentucky during the depression era. The story is told using flashback scenes to develop the background of the family. As they make the best of their life, Olivia discovers that somebody is killing the wolves in the area. Soon, she also discovers a deep, darker mystery within her community.

I wasn't pulled into the story like I had hoped I would be. The plot and characters didn't seem truly authentic; therefore, I wasn't captivated, but I wasn't bored either. There were occasions when I found myself more attentive and curious, but overall it was just an okay book for me. (3.25/5)

Originally posted on: Thoughts of Joy ( )
  ThoughtsofJoyLibrary | Jul 6, 2012 |
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This book is for my father, who listened as if my words were absolute and my voice could save a nation.
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The long howl of a wolf rolls over me like a toothache.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385343035, Paperback)

Destined to be a classic, Sweeping Up Glass is a tough and tender novel of love, race, and justice, and a ferocious, unflinching look at the power of family.

Olivia Harker Cross owns a strip of mountain in Pope County, Kentucky, a land where whites and blacks eke out a living in separate, tattered kingdoms and where silver-faced wolves howl in the night. But someone is killing the wolves of Big Foley Mountain–and Olivia is beginning to realize how much of her own bitter history she’s never understood: Her mother’s madness, building toward a fiery crescendo. Her daughter’s flight to California, leaving her to raise Will’m, her beloved grandson. And most of all, her town’s fear, for Olivia has real and dangerous enemies.

Now this proud, lonely woman will face her mother and daughter, her neighbors and the wolf hunters of Big Foley Mountain. And when she does, she’ll ignite a conflict that will embroil an entire community–and change her own life in the most astonishing of ways.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:18 -0400)

Olivia Harker Cross owns a strip of mountain in Pope County, Kentucky, a land where whites and blacks eke out a living in separate, tattered kingdoms and where silver-faced wolves howl in the night. But someone is killing the wolves of Big Foley Mountain - and Olivia is beginning to realize how much of her own bitter history she's never understood: Her mother's madness, building toward a fiery crescendo. Her daughter's flight to California, leaving her to raise Will'm, her beloved grandson. And most of all, her town's fear, for Olivia has real and dangerous enemies. Now this proud, lonely woman will face her mother and daughter, her neighbors and the wolf hunters of Big Foley Mountain. Her determination to find out who is killing wolves on her Kentucky property in 1938 unwittingly brings danger to her impoverished community as well as her grandson Will'm.… (more)

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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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