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Monday, June 14, 2010

"Whiter than snow"

by Sandra Dallas, 2010, 292p, rating=4

Now this book has characters with depth!  I got to thinking about my neighbors or just people around me in general.  What path of life have they really gone through to be at the place they're at now.  Everyone has a story ... even as rough or rougher than the characters here.  A sinful past, maybe?  A heavy burden that needs forgiving?  How well do we really know of the people around us?  Would we be able to count on each other at a tragic time?  How much of our life is destined to cross for someone else's benefit ... perhaps to even meet one that will also illuminate ours?  Wow, an awesome book!  I'm such a sucker for stories that highlight the strength of humankind to bond regardless of race or social class.  Hurray for the potential greatest in us all!  A surprisingly great read.

This was a moving book but also had light moments that I appreciated reading.  People have dark moments but they also have funny ones too.  Here's a couple of examples: 
  1. "First off, never eat nine persimmons in a row, or you'll turn into a boy." pg 92.  ~One of many superstitions that Grace Foote was told as a young girl.
  2. "horizontal refreshments" pg 143 ~A term that Minder Evans heard from one of his co-soldiers.  (think brothel!)
Here's the book's synopsis:
On a spring afternoon in 1920, Swandyke--a small town is changed forever.  Just moments after four o'clock, a large split of snow separates from Jubilee Mountain high above the tiny hamlet and hurtles down the rocky slope, enveloping everything in its path.  Meet the residents whose lives this tragedy touches:  Lucy and Dolly Patch, two sisters long estranged by a shocking betrayal.  Joe Cobb, Swandyke's only black resident, whose love for his daughter forces him to flee Alabama.  Then there's Grace Foote, who hides secrets and scandal that belie her genteel facade.  And Minder Evans, a Civil War veteran who considers cowardice his greatest sin.  Finally, there's Essie Snowball, born Ester Schnable to conservative Jewish parents but who now works as a prostitute and hides her child's parentage from the world.  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.

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