Monday, March 26, 2012

Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas

Story about me reading the book first:  I picked this book off my bookshelf to read (used copy from on a Tuesday evening.  After 10-15 minutes of reading my eyes started itching and watering, my hands and chest were itching.  I could only come to the conclusion that the book was infested with cat dander to which I am severely allergic.  I was really getting into the book!  Angrily I put the book down, went and washed my face, hands and chest and then picked up “New Mercies” to read.  The next night I went to book club and told the women about my ‘cat-infested’ book.  One sweet, wonderful woman said she had a copy at home and she would mail it to me.  I received it the next day so I could start it as soon as I finished “New Mercies”.  It’s wonderful to have good friends.

 Alice’s Tulips” is an epistolary novel.  In it Alice Bullock a newlywed, whose husband has just joined the Union in the Civil War, writes lively letters to her sister.  Alice is left to run her husband’s family farm with her mother-in-law. Their troubles and experiences are thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable.  In some review Alice was described as the Northern Scarlet O’Hara, an apt description.  Dallas is at her best with writing about women depending on women to get by and what it means to be a friend.

Mormon Mention: At one point in the book, they have no horse to pull the plow, so one woman pulls the plow while the other drives it.  “Mrs. Kittie stopped by this afternoon and laughed at the two of us and repeated a song the Mormons sang as they pushed their handcarts across the prairie: ‘Some must push and some must pull, as merrily over the plains we go.’”

4 Stars (PG very mild sexual references.)

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