From the New York Times bestselling author of Prayers for Sale comes a powerful novel about the intersection of redemption, forgiveness, and love....On a spring afternoon in 1920, Swandyke-a small town near Colorado's Tenmile Range-is changed forever. Just moments after four o'clock, a large split of snow separates from Jubilee Mountain high above the tiny hamlet and hurtles down the rocky slope, enveloping everything in its path. Meet the residents whose lives this tragedy touches: Lucy and Dolly Patch, two sisters long estranged by a shocking betrayal. Joe Cobb, Swandyke's only black resident, whose love for his daughter forces him to flee Alabama. Then there's Grace Foote, who hides secrets and scandal that belie her genteel facade. And Minder Evans, a Civil War veteran who considers cowardice his greatest sin. Finally, there's Essie Snowball, born Esther Schnable to conservative Jewish parents, who now works as a prostitute and hides her child's parentage from the world. Fate, chance, and perhaps divine providence all collide in the everyday lives of these people. And ultimately, no one is without sin, no one's soul is whiter than snow, and no one is without the need for forgiveness. A quintessential American voice and a writer of exquisite historical detail, Sandra Dallas illuminates the resilience of the human spirit in her newest novel.
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by Sandra Dallas
"In 1920s Swandyke, Colorado, nine children on their way home from school are trapped in a deadly avalanche. From the outset, author Sandra Dallas teases listeners with the fact that only four survive. But which four? The novel then leaves the kids in the snow and flashes back, developing connections between the principal players and their relationships to one another and the trapped children. Narrator Ali Ahn does an adequate job portraying the East Coast transplants and the Colorado mining types, but her ethnic characters--the black sharecroppers, the Eastern European immigrant family--are lacking in credibility. Listeners will feel manipulated by predictable plotting, awkward dialogue, and unconvincing characters. Thornton Wilder's THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY does it better, without the melodrama. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine"
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