Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall (Delta Trade Paperback, August 4, 2009), 336 pages
Olivia Harker Cross is raising her grandson and caring for her cantankerous, possibly insane mother. She does this while running the Kentucky town’s general store and trying to eke out a living on the narrow strip of the mountain they own. She’s also trying to figure out why hunters are killing the wolves on her land for sport, not to mention making them stop the slaughter.
A story of loss, betrayal, secrets, friendship, love, survival, hope. Olivia comes face to face with horrific bigotry. She also must come to terms with her own bitterness.
At times I was laughing, at others close to tears. This is a heartbreaking book, but not in the same way so much literary fiction is sad, sad, sad. This has moments of joy, moments of triumph. And a dose of mystery, too. Some of the parts about her childhood are hilarious.
Like Olivia, the story is tied to the earth, the physical dirt. I love the story’s sense of place. The writing fits the story. It’s beautiful but simple.
Sweeping Up Glass was originally published in hardcover in 2008 by Poisoned Pen Press.
Carolyn Wall lives in Oklahoma City. This is her debut novel. I’m looking forward to more.
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