Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Persian Pickle Club - Sandra Dallas

Summary: It is the 1930's and hard times have hit Harveyville, Kansas, where the crops are burning up, and there's not a job to be found. For Queenie Bean, a young farm wife, a highlight of each week is the gathering of the Persian Pickle Club, a group of local ladies dedicated to improving their minds, exchanging gossip, and putting their quilting skills to good use. When a new member of the club stirs up a dark secret, the women must band together to support and protect one another. In her magical, memorable novel, Sandra Dallas explores the ties that unite women through good times and bad. (Image from and summary from back of the book.)

My Review: I feel like I've read this before. Maybe I haven't and the premise just feels familiar because of a common theme or message that is also in movies. I'm not sure. Regardless, The Persian Pickle Club is a fast and enjoyable read. It doesn't take long before you're attached to the characters and finding yourself biased by their opinions and riding along in their old automobiles charmed by their manners. It was interesting to see which character I related to most and why. As the story unfolds you learn why the club is called Persian Pickle. (It's another name for paisley...which, honestly, why didn't they just say paisley?) You also learn about the strong bond between women young and old that have come together to support each other outside of their club as well as in their quilting. It makes you want to go back in time and live in simpler times where you had friends to help you out the minute you picked up the party line (a phone line where everyone in town can listen in on your conversation if he so chooses).

The book takes a twist about half way through. You think you're along for a ride in depression era literature and out of the blue you're amidst a scandal, a murder, and abuse. Breaching the subject of abuse can be difficult, making sure to depict the horrible reality but not burdening the story so much that the reader wants to put the book down. Sandra Dallas pulled it off gracefully. My favorite part was the ending that leaves you questioning the answer you're given. I will not divulge what that is here. You must pick up the book to find out for yourself--it's only 196 pages, so there's really no excuse not to.

Rating: 4 stars.

Sum it up: Quick, little read with a fun twist.


Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

I have Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas in my TBR stack for this month...hope it is as enjoyable.

Unknown said...

I listened to this via audiobook years ago. It's stayed with me as I have with it. It may be short in pages but it's long in heart and spirit. The Persian Pickle Club is dear.


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