Reader reviews and comments on Sweeping Up Glass, plus links to write your own review.

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Sweeping Up Glass

by Carolyn Wall

Sweeping Up Glass
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2008, 278 pages
    Aug 2009, 336 pages

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There are currently 40 reader reviews for Sweeping Up Glass
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Priscilla (08/10/09)

It began so well!
I enjoyed reading this book and meeting the rural Kentuckians. The novel was going along so well and then it wasn't. The story took off in too many directions, plots and sub-plots, and never came together. I reread the book and still found much of it implausible. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but this is fiction! An implausible ending tacked on to a story of poverty, racism, hardship.

That said, you would not be wasting your time if you read this book. Nuggets of simple truths and wisdom are there. The gritty character of Olivia is memorable.
Sheryl (08/10/09)

Complex characters, compelling story
This compelling book is full of complex characters whose lives all touch and dramatically change one another as the story unfolds. Although a little slow to get started, the development of the characters require this leisurely pace and add to the drama of the story. Full of interlocking themes of love for humans, animals, and the land, and hate in all its guises and complexities, it offers a very multi-faceted look at the human condition, its challenges and joys, and the ultimate battle between good and evil. While the themes aren't new, the story is compelling, surprising, and enjoyable.
Sandra (08/10/09)

Sweeping Up Glass
Carolyn Wall has a lot of talent. She is very good with words but needs to hone her story telling skills. She rambled through most of the novel then bombarded the reader with huge happenings at the end.

I found the generational repetition of the detached mother syndrome very interesting and think she could have developed a good novel based on that. She tried to tell too many stories at once.
Marie (08/10/09)

Sweeping Up Glass
Carolyn Wall's novel would present itself well at a women's group book club. The discussion could be spirited in exploring the following aspects presented in the novel: love, hate; honesty, deception; good, evil; sanity, insanity; courage, cowardice; benevolence, animosity; murder, mystery, and prejudice. All of this in 319 pages--an ambitious undertaking, indeed.

There are characters to be admired as well as those to be abhorred but nevertheless unforgettable since they could well exist anywhere. The dysfunctional relationship between Olivia and her mother Ida, between Olivia and daughter Pauline are sad and remain unresolved.Then there are characters to be protected--the wolves and their offspring, Will'm, Olivia's grandson, the "coloreds" and Olivia's father Tate.

In the novel, Wall hints at "the mystery"and gives subtle clues; however, by the time the mystery is solved for us, the novel ends--almost too quickly.

Overall, an interesting read with characters to analyze, incidents to marvel at, and hard times to ponder. I recommend this debut novel.
Power Reviewer Deanna (08/10/09)

Not What I Expected
I was looking for a novel that explored mother daughter relationships. This novel had too many story lines and complex characters that I could not relate to. Yes, it was well written but it was not the story I expected. I would not recommend it to my book group.
Theresa (08/10/09)

Good Read
There aren't too many books that can grab my attention right away, but this was one of them. The writing style was great - the author's character portrayals and her descriptive prose made this a very easy read and kept me wanting more. I think this would be a great book club read as it would garner a lively discussion!
Kathy (08/10/09)

Speed read this one!
I LOVED Sweeping Up Glass. I read over half of it the day I received it. It's reminiscient of To Kill A Mockingbird, but its story certainly stands alone. I loved the character of Olivia ... and there wasn't a false note throughout the entire book, nor was it predictable.

The book elicited such emotions from me ... fear, anxiety, happiness, and sadness. I will be recommending Sweeping Up Glass to everyone...I can't say enough good things about it. It's a wonderful, wonderful book.
Karen (08/10/09)

Unique and Enjoyable Characters
There were things I enjoyed about this book. The flavor of the writing and the uniqueness of the characters were very enjoyable. But it didn't quite live up to expectations as the story progressed. There seemed to be holes in the plot. One minor aspect that bothered me was that there was never a date given. I guess some things are assumed, but I like to know in what time period a story is set, especially when it covers several decades. I think this writer will grow - I would read another book from her to see if that has happened.

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