Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Whiter Than Snow and an Interview With My Mother

A few years ago my mother read Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas, an author from our neighboring state of Colorado.  Mom enjoyed it and lent it to me at a time when I had so many ARCs demanding my attention that I had to set Prayers for Sale aside.

In February we were discussing Prayers for Sale and wondering if Dallas had a new book out.  Checking we discovered Whiter Than Snow was going to be released on March 30.  A few days later I received an offer for an a review copy. I jumped for joy.

When the book arrived I gave it to my mother and asked her if she would be willing to do an interview about the book.  She graciously accepted.

Before I share the interview, let me tell you a little about this amazing lady that I am fortunate to have for a mother.  She's 88 years old and is starting to slow down slightly.  My 2 sisters and I used to collapse on a bench when we'd shop with her and occasionally say, "Oh, there she goes..."  Not one of her seven children can keep up with her.  When we travel she doesn't sleep because she's afraid she'll miss something.

It was my mother's example of life-long learning that has encouraged my love for reading.  She graduated from the University of Nebraska the same year her second child graduated from high school.  Most of her years in college she had all 7 of us living at home.

1.  What did the title have to do with the story?
 A tremendous snow slide is the focus of the story and as it crushes and whitens everything in its destructive path, the lives of all the people are changed--whitened.  Priorities are changed and old grudges and grievances are overcome and forgotten. 
2.  Why did you decide to read this book?
I had read and enjoyed Dallas’ Prayers for Sale, so when I read a review of this soon to come out book I added it to my to-read list. The setting for both books are little gold-mining camps high in the Rockies above Denver. Brought back memories of a radio soap opera that we used to listen to when I was growing up. ?? I was attracted yo Prayers for Sale as I knew piecing quilts was an integral part of the story. Quilts were only mentioned in this book , mostly as being plentifully available to wrap survivors in.
3.  How does the author make the setting important?
The setting is the very basis of the story. Life in a mining camp shapes the characters of the residents. They endure many tragedies and hardships. Some have come to seek the isolation of the camp and to others it is the only life they know or want. Some want to escape but the hold on them is powerful and leaving is difficult.
4.  How does point of view shape the book?
I am a reader who does not often internalize stories. Most of what I read is purely for the enjoyment of a good story with an interesting plot and memorable characters.

5.  Did this book remind you of anything tha has happened to you?
As mentioned above--the old radio program. Also I thought of our trips through the Rockies and some of the little mining towns we drove through. I would like to visit a little town like Swandyke.

6.   What did you feel towards the main character?  Was there another character you found to be more interesting?
I am not sure just who was the main character. So many were strong characters with such a diversity of backgrounds, hang-ups, fears, secrets. Etc. I particularly am drawn to the to two single men whose children did not survive the avalanche,, Joe and Minder. Telling of them made a very strong ending for the book.
 Thanks so much to my Mom for reading and reviewing this book.  I'm looking forward to reading it in the near future.


Anonymous said...

What a great post! Your mom sounds like a wonderful woman. I haven't read anything by Sandra Dallas, but I'm adding her to my list of authors to check out at some point.


Anonymous said...

First of all, thanks so much for sharing your Mom with us. She sounds like quite a special person. Second, I love Sandra Dallas' books and am looking forward to reading this one. I'm hearing awfully good things about it.

Nan said...

This was wonderful! Thank you to your mom for doing it. A terrific idea.

Zibilee said...

What a fabulous post! I loved hearing about the book from your mom's perspective. She sounds like an amazing woman who has done some incredible things. I also think that the book sounds really good too, so I will be checking it out. Thanks for sharing this great review with us!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I really enjoyed the audio version of this book as well. Her other books Tallgrass and Prayers for Sale are equally as good.

Darlene said...

Your mom sounds like an amazing woman-you are so lucky! Great interview as well. I have heard great things about this book. I only have 1 book of hers - Tallgrass - on my shelf.

Framed said...

What a great interview. I really enjoyed it. Mom is 88? I've been telling everyone 87. I guess I have forgotten how to add.

Serena said...

What a great mother-daughter review. I love the interview format. Your mother sounds like a wonderful reader and mother. I enjoyed this review. Have either of you read Dallas's Tallgrass?? I really loved that book.

Utah Mom said...

Oh! I love your mom. It's been so long since I've seen her. The interview was great and I'll have to add this book to my to-read list.

SuziQoregon said...

Waving . . . Hi Mom!! remember me?

HappyDancing and taunting the other commenters a bit because I've met your Mom and yes she is a wonderful person!!

Love the interview with your Mom format. She's such a lovely lady it's nice to see her put in an appearance on your blog.

I've got a copy of this book and hope to get to it soon. I've read a couple of her earlier books (Persian Pickle Club and The Diary of Mattie Spenser) and enjoyed them.

Tamara said...

Thanks for sharing this interview. It's such a wonderful way to learn more about life - speaking and listening to our parents and other elders. I really enjoyed this post and your mom's insights into this book.

Booklogged said...

This was such a fun post for me to do - featuring my Mom was real treat. Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments.

Bookfool said...

Thanks for sharing your mom with us! What a great interview! Like SuziQ, I've read a couple of Dallas's earlier books and enjoyed them. This one sounds excellent and I'll definitely seek it out.

Les said...

Lovely review! Please tell your mom I enjoyed reading her thoughts about Dallas' new novel. I've heard good things about it, but have only read one by her (Tall Grass). I may just have to add this to my TBR list.