24 September 2010

Featuring . . . The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton

This Friday and every Friday for the next several months I'll be featuring a book in the Harper Perennial Imprint. Some were recently published, some will be released later this year, all are worth a closer look.

Over the past weeks, I've introduced you to the great variety of books that are published under the Harper Perennial imprint. I've showcased nonfiction, short stories, six-word memories, and literary fiction. This week, I'm talking about another aspect of Harper Perennial: their Rediscovered Classic line.

I love the idea of bringing fantastic older books back onto the bookshelves and introducing them to a new generation of readers. The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton is a semi-autobiographical novel about a family of four sisters. It was originally published in 1962 and was a best-seller. When it was reissued in the spring of 2009, it became an Indie Next pick.

Here's the publisher's summary:

A timeless American classic rediscovered—an unforgettable saga of a heartland family

On a farm in western Missouri during the first half of the twentieth century, Matthew and Callie Soames create a life for themselves and raise four headstrong daughters. Jessica will break their hearts. Leonie will fall in love with the wrong man. Mary Jo will escape to New York. And wild child Mathy's fate will be the family's greatest tragedy. Over the decades they will love, deceive, comfort, forgive—and, ultimately, they will come to cherish all the more fiercely the bonds of love that hold the family together.
This book has a couple of winning characteristics for me. I've always loved family sagas, and I enjoy books set on the farmlands of the Midwest. In addition, I find it hard to resist a novel about four young women who lived during a time when expectations based on gender were beginning to change. Carleton was born in Missouri in 1913, and I have read that the novel reflects her own life.

Here's what author Jane Smiley had to say about the Carleton and this Rediscovered Classic:

One of the great things about Harper Perennial publications are the extras you'll find at the end of their books. The Moonflower Vine is no exception. There is also a reading guide available on the Harper Perennial website.

This book was featured as part of my Spotlight on the Harper Perennial imprint. For information about the imprint, please read Erica Barmash's welcome note posted here on June 18, 2010. I encourage you to add your reviews of Harper Perennial books to the review link-up page; it's a great way to discover Good Books for Cool People. See the alphabetized review index to see what others are saying. And don't miss the The Olive Reader, the Harper Perennial blog.

The Moonflower Vine at Powell's
The Moonflower Vine at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by HarperCollins / Harper Perennial, 2009


Sandy Nawrot 9/24/10, 6:47 AM  

I agree, I'm attracted to stories based in the Midwest and also family dramas. You'd think out in the middle of nowhere it would be slow and boring, but I know better! We had more drama growing up than I would ever dream of having now. I'm digressing, but did you know we had SWAT at our house trying to track down a criminal on the loose? And when they cornered him, right up the road from us, he stabbed himself to death? People are still talking about it.

Beth F 9/24/10, 6:54 AM  

Sandy: Holy cow! Apparently my corner of Ohio was a bit dull compared to Indiana. Just a bit scary.

bermudaonion 9/24/10, 8:16 AM  

It sounds like this book has withstood the test of time! I'm adding it to my wish list.

Gerbera Daisy Diaries 9/24/10, 8:25 AM  

I loved this book!! One of my favorites to read last year. I work at our local library and persuaded them to make a "book club kit" for our library book clubs. It's been very well received.
Here is my review:

Barbara 9/24/10, 10:15 AM  

Since I was born and raised in Illinois, I think I would very much like this book. Will look for it.

Anastasia @ Here There Be Books 9/24/10, 11:34 AM  

I love the idea of bringing fantastic older books back onto the bookshelves and introducing them to a new generation of readers.

Me too! I especially wish "they" would put Noel Streatfeild's Shoe books back into print. ALL of them. Because I need them. >:(

/random complaining

Dorte H 9/24/10, 2:06 PM  

This one sounds good. I also like family sagas.

Stephanie 9/24/10, 7:17 PM  

I am one of four girls, so I will be reading this book on that basis alone. It sounds like a really good family drama!

Michele 9/24/10, 10:09 PM  

This book is just calling out to me......

Anonymous,  9/25/10, 7:56 AM  

My mom gave this book to me about 6 months ago and it's just been hanging out with all my other TBR books. I may need to move it up the list. Thanks for the review.

Beth Hoffman 9/25/10, 10:39 AM  

This book has been on my list for ages. Now I'm going to finally buy it!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 9/25/10, 8:04 PM  

This book has been on my "Books To Read Before I Die " list - hope to get to it soon. Sounds amazing Beth! Great review.

Anonymous,  9/28/10, 11:42 AM  

Thanks for sharing!

Alice 10/5/10, 8:05 PM  

I love family sagas too. See how dangerous it is reading your blog? Every book featured here potentially becomes book that I need to get. Thank you!

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