My agent is a wise, wonderful woman, and I have her to thank for introducing me to Sandra Dallas. A couple years ago, my agent sent me a copy of Sandra’s award-winning novel Tallgrass. Ironically, a few weeks before I started reading Tallgrass, my husband had said to me: “You should really write a book about a Japanese internment camp during World War II. I’ve never heard of a book that deals with that topic.” Uh, I’ll give you two guesses what Tallgrass is about. 😉
In addition to handling a fascinating subject with amazing grace, Tallgrass a lovely book. Quiet and unassuming, but packed with emotional power that grows slowly until you turn the last page and realize that you are fully invested in the lives of the characters. It’s a bit stunning that way. And it’s one of those rare books that keeps coming back to me in dreams. The setting that Sandra created in the pages of Tallgrass became a part of my inner landscape, and I find myself regularly returning to the Ellis, Colorado of her pen.
Sandra’s books are rich and atmospheric, and I love sinking my teeth into them. My favorite of her collection is probably Prayers for Sale, a book that chronicles the unlikely friendship between Hennie Comfort (an elderly widow) and Nit Spindle (a young bride) in an isolated mining town in Colorado. As their stories weave together, we learn about Hennie’s youth and the sad circumstances that brought her to the town of Middle Swan. But Prayers for Sale is ultimately a very hopeful and hope-filled book.
Sandra had this to say about Far From Here: “Nicole Baart is a writer of immense strength. Her lush, beautiful prose, her finely drawn characters, and especially her quirky women, all made Far From Here a book I couldn’t put down.” Have I mentioned how mind-blowing it is to hear words like this from someone I admire so much? Beautiful prose and finely drawn characters are exactly why I’m such a Sandra Dallas fan. If I could achieve, even in a very small way, what Sandra seems to do so effortlessly, I’d be thrilled. I hope I have many, many years to keep trying!
The Bride’s House is Sandra’s newest release, and I hope you check it out! I haven’t been able to read it yet, but I’m looking forward to it with the same sort of anticipation I reserve for the bar of dark chocolate with sea salt that I hide in my… Wait a sec. I almost told you where I hide my secret candy stash! Very sneaky of you. If you only knew about my secret book stash… 😉
Have a fantastic weekend! Do yourself a favor and pick up one of Sandra’s books for your weekend reading enjoyment! And don’t forget, I’d love it if you’d join me in giving away a book on Tuesday! You can read more about it in my last post…