Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall
Delta Trade Paperbacks, Random House,
New York 2009
Borrowed from the library.
This debut novel by Carolyn Wall tells the story of Olivia Harker, her family, surrounding community and the land she loves. Living in poverty on the land left to her by her ancestors, Olivia is threatened by hunters killing the wolves that live on her property. She and her grandson struggle to save these wolves and to find the culprits.
At once a mystery and a love story Sweeping Up Glass offers reflections on madness, racism and family secrets.
I have read reviews comparing Wall to Harper Lee and Flannery O’Connor. Sweeping Up Glass is a good first novel but it is not that good. Olivia’s first person voice is strong, her life full of darkness and light, and the story immersed in “southern gothic” but I found the last third of the novel rushed and not as fully developed as the first two-thirds. It is still an enjoyable read and I look forward to Wall’s next effort.