Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Persian Pickle Club Review and Q-n-A

The Persian Pickle Club

The Persian Pickle Club
Sandra Dallas
198 pgs.
St. Martins Press

Amazon Blurb -

This entertaining second novel from the author of the well-received Buster Midnight's Cafe could be a sleeper. Set in Depression-era Kansas and made vivid with the narrator's humorous down-home voice, it's a story of loyalty and friendship in a women's quilting circle. Young farm wife Queenie Bean tells about the brief membership of a city girl named Rita, whose boredom with country living and aspirations to be an investigative reporter lead her to unearth secrets in the close-knit group, called the Persian Pickle Club after a coveted paisley print. Queenie's desire to win Rita's friendship ("We were chickens... and Rita was a hummingbird") clashes with her loyalty to the Pickles when Rita tries to solve the murder of a member's husband, in the process unearthing complicated relationships among the women who meet each week to quilt and read aloud to each other. The result is a simple but endearing story that depicts small-town eccentricities with affection and adds dazzle with some late-breaking surprises. Dallas hits all the right notes, combining an authentic look at the social fabric of Depression-era life with a homespun suspense story.

Queenie Bean is a young married gal who belongs to a quilting group made up of the town's ladies.  They're called the Persian Pickles after the pattern of material used for quilting.  She along with Agnes T. Ritter are the youngest the group, all with with very diverse personalities.  They meet at each others homes quilting, gossiping and visiting as well as being very good friends to each other.  All this takes place during the depression.  Rita Ritter is newly married to Agnes' brother and brand new in town.  A city girl with aspirations of being a reporter, Rita decides she's going to solve the murder of one of the Pickles husband. 

This starts opening up a can of worms better off left alone.  Queenie so wants to be best friends with Rita, but she starts to realize that this small town really isn't a place for Rita at all.

Short and sweet the characters in this book were quite rich.  I really loved it, while it's suspense is very mild, it isn't heavy or gory, nor is there  romance, just a great story set in such a tough time, with women who really love each other and the hobby they share.  I give this book my highest rating because sometimes just feeling good when you read it and smiling when your done is more important than all those fancy bells and whistles!  Thanks to Julie over at Reading Without Restraint for choosing this book for our March book club choice!!

5 cannolis


1.  The Denver Post called this, "A book about how times can never be so hard that they can't be eased when people come together."  How do the gatherings of the Persian Pickle Club ease its members' troubles?

First off, they're doing something they absolutely love!  Being with your girlfriends in a time of stress can be the best medicine.  This group proves that.

2.  Do you belong to a club such as this, or have you ever?  If so, what kind of club and when?

I belong to a book club and we are having such a great time, we just met last night as a matter of fact.  After we discuss the book, and even during the book discussions, we talk about our lives, the parallels our kids.  I love it, being with woman can be a great thing.

3.  Who was your favorite character in the book and why?

I loved Queenie, she was just so sweet, the way her mouth would just run cracked me up.

4.  Your least favorite character and why?

I don't think I had a least fave, even poor Agnes T wasn't so bad when ya got down to it!

5.  Is Rita truly a good friend to Queenie?  Do you think she realizes the trouble her insensitive questions cause?

I think she was just clueless.  A good friend though, nah I don't think so.  Even though she is going to keep their secret, I don't think she'll ever be in that intimate circle.

6.  The quilt that Rita sends to Queenie at the end of the book is a "Friendship Forever" design.  What message do you think she was trying to convey to the club?

That she gets what they are and that her lips are always sealed.

7.  Rita includes a card with her quilt that says, "If you wonder who's responsible, I did it."  Who really did do it?  Does it matter?

No I don't think it does.  And ya know what, I think that maybe Queenie did do it ;)

8.  After reading The Persian Pickle Club, would you be inclined to read another book by Dallas?

Abso-friggin-lutely!!!   I just loved this book!!


  1. I'm so glad you liked it! I really enjoyed it too....

  2. Paula: Love your review! It is a 5 isn't it? It's nice to smile at the end of a book.

  3. I couldn't get into this one, definitely not my cup of tea.

    I got to the body being found and still wasn't interested to continue.

    I am so glad you and Julie enjoyed it.

    And 5 Paula, wowsa :-)

  4. I'm sorry you didn't like it Marce :( I really did, it was simple and sweet, sometimes those books just hit the spot for me. It all depends on how I feel at the time, but hey, it's a book club and we're not gonna love every choice, and that is OK!!! If we find a bit into it that it just ain't working we can just let it be known during the q-n-a that it just didn't click :)


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