19 August 2009

A-Z Wednesday: Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky

Reading at the Beach is hosting this fun meme: Each week she invites you to spotlight a book whose title begins with the featured letter. This week we have the letter B.

My B book is Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky. The novel takes place in modern times in a small town in Kansas and primarily focuses two families. The Schapens and the Grelliers have been farming the Kaw River Valley since the mid-1800s and cannot escape their shared history of violence from the Civil War era up through the turbulent 1970s. The novel explores how the community copes with contemporary issues of the Iraq war, changing sexual mores, political conflicts, and clashing religious beliefs. I read the book in spring 2008, and my notes are sketchy, but I remember that the characters were well developed and that the book provided the basis for some good dinnertime conversation. I rated this one a solid B.

I listened to the unabridged audio edition (Brilliance Audio) read by Susan Ericksen. My notes indicated that the reading was well done.

Sara Paretsky has a website that highlights Bleeding Kansas.

Have you read this book? A quick look around Library Thing and the commercial sites tells me that there are mixed feelings about the novel and the portrayal of the various religious groups discussed in the book. I remember liking the plot and thinking that the characters were fairly believable, but others say the characters were flat and stereotypical. Any opinions?


Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 8/19/09, 9:06 AM  

I've never heard of this one but I like reading about different religious groups and I usually enjoy books that are polarizing as well.

rhapsodyinbooks 8/19/09, 11:37 AM  

Interesting - I had no idea Paretsky did book likes this!

bermudaonion 8/19/09, 12:50 PM  

I've never read this book, but I know I've read something by Sara Paretsky - I just can't remember what right now.

Anonymous,  8/19/09, 3:42 PM  

I've never heard of this book before. I love the cover, it's beautiful!

Thanks for joining A-Z Wednesday!

Julie P. 8/19/09, 5:05 PM  

I haven't read a Paretsky book for eons. It's about time to go back and read one!

Margot at Joyfully Retired 8/19/09, 6:21 PM  

I just bought this book this week for my Literary Road Trip in Kansas. Ms. Paretsky is a native. She's best known for her V. I. Warshowski detective stories. I haven's started Bleeding Kansas yet but plan to in the next month or so.

Melody 8/19/09, 7:55 PM  

That's a fun meme!
I don't think I've read anything by this author. Thanks for the heads up!

me again 8/19/09, 8:21 PM  

I too didn't think Paretsky did anything but the P.I. novels. Thanks for pointing me towards this!

Jenners 8/19/09, 9:55 PM  

I never heard of this ... I just thought she wrote those private eye books.

Jeanne 8/19/09, 10:56 PM  

I agree with you about the solid B. Some of the characters were a little stereotypical, but I felt they deserved it!

The Reading Momster 8/20/09, 1:32 AM  

This sounds like a fun meme! I will join next week :)

I haven't read the book yet, but i will sure take a look around and see if i can spot it!

Bernadette 8/21/09, 1:51 AM  

I couldn't get into this one at all and didn't finish it. I just didn't find it believable. I was going to put it aside for picking up some other time but I ended up giving it away via bookmooch.

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