Molinda C. (APO, AE)
This story seems on the face to be one of cliches that we have seen too often recently--southern white girl who is close to black townsfolk in the segregated south battling entrenched racism in her town. But "Sweeping up Glass" draws you in from the first page. There is a mystery to be solved and its elucidation is where the story gains its momentum. Drama is created through character interaction and dialogue. Carolyn Wall is a master story teller. Read this book!
Susan R. (Julian, NC)
During the first few pages of this book, I kept putting it down - I didn't think that I could read it. However, once I learned all of the major characters, I got totally engrossed in it. I didn't want to read it too fast and miss anything. The book is fantastic and would be a great book club reading project....there are so many areas of the book that could be discussed in a group. The book presented a true picture of life in the south during the Depression...but it was more than just a picture of the South. It was a mystery and a deep look into Olivia's life and thoughts. It wasn't a page turner like many mysteries - instead it was a slow immersion into Olivia's thoughts and daily life. It was a fantastic book and I really enjoyed it.
Caryl L. (Williamsburg, VA)
Sweeping up glass
This is a powerful book containing many facets. The book speaks of devotion, love and hatred, of secrets, bigotry and mystery. Sounds like a lot, but the author with great facility delivers all of this with sensitivity and insight uncommon to a debut novel. I found myself drawn in more and more as I read and wanting more when it ended. I look forward to Ms. Wall's next book.
Barbara S. (Brick, NJ)
A simple story with a simple truth
Every once in a while a fictional character becomes so real you care about what happens. A simple story with a simple truth like the original Shall We Dance or Dear Frankie makes for a great story.
When I sink into a book and let the world carry on without me, when I can't wait to pick up the book and continue or when I just don't put the book down until the very last page, I know that I have found such a story.
My heart beat with Olivia's at every turn of the page. She was honest, strong, brave and resilient. As so many women do, she sacrificed and carried on. She loved and was shocked when love came back to her. She touched my heart.
With a smile and a tear and a thank you to Carolyn Wall, I closed the book.
Iris F. (W. Bloomfield, Michigan)
Sweeping Up Glass
Carolyn Wall can be compared to an artist only her medium is words. With very few words she has the ability of painting vibrant pictures that set the stage for a beautiful, multi-layered novel that is not only well written, but easy to follow. The characters are well developed and the plot is compelling and moves along flawlessly. From cover to cover, this was a difficult book to put down. Not only do I highly recommend this book, I look forward to future works by this author. I would rate this book a 5 plus.
Susan B. (Fairfield Public Library, CT)
Complexity of Family Relationships
"Sweeping Up Glass" is a wonderful story exploring family relationships and the damage done by hate and deception. As the reader follows Olivia from childhood into adulthood, we can see the poor choices she makes but also the circumstances that are beyond her control. It is easy to sympathize with her and I found myself pulling for her throughout the book. This novel would be a great book group selection.
Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)
From the very first page the language created such clear pictures that I was immediately drawn into each scene. The setting is the 1930s in Kentucky, and I could feel what the times were like.
Olivia is the appealing main character, and the surrounding characters add great dimension. The book has such an honest feel to it that one can't help but get attached to all of them.
It was a great read.