Monday, June 18, 2018

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas

Ten years ago, for "Friday's Forgotten Books", I discussed Sandra Dallas' novel, The Persian Pickle Club. I have it on Facebook today for a listing of seven books I've loved. I still love that book.

Why am I talking about it again? I'm finishing Dallas' latest book, The Patchwork Bride, but the book is too good to review before I've actually completed it. In the meantime, I thought I'd go back and see what I wrote about the earlier book. I'm sharing that book, because it's one I've never forgotten, and the quilting group from that story is mentioned in the current one.

Remember, the earlier summary was written ten years ago. I've read a few more of Dallas' books since then, so the number is off. But, my opinions of The Persian Pickle Club and Tallgrass have not changed.

Oh, and ten years later, "Friday's Forgotten Books" is still going strong, and the weekly feature is still featured on Patti Abbott's blog.


Not only is Sandra Dallas' The Persian Pickle Club a "forgotten" book, but the author herself never received the attention she deserved. I've read six of her seven books, and they are all wonderful novels that portray women and their friendships. Her most recent book, Tallgrass, is an outstanding book of a young girl's coming-of-age during World War II, watching the reactions of a small Colorado town when a Japanese internment camp is built on its outskirts.

But, today's forgotten book is The Persian Pickle Club. When the book came out, booksellers handsold it, saying, if you can figure out who did it, we'll give your money back. Here's the summary from the book jacket:

"It is the 1930s, and hard times have hit Harveyville, Kansas, where the crops are burning up and there's not a job to be found. For Queenie Bean, a young farmwife, the highlight of each week is the gathering of the Persian Pickle Club (named after a favorite cloth pattern), a group of local ladies dedicated to improving their minds, exchanging gossip, and putting their well-honed quilting skills to good use. As Queenie says, 'It's funny how quilting draws women together like nothing else.'

"Women her own age are few in Harveyville, so when just-married Rita Ritter arrives in town, Queenie eagerly welcomes her new friend to the club. But Rita, who hails from Denver, is anything but a country girl. With a hankering for a newspaper career, she's far more interested in investigative journalism than she is in sewing, and before long her prying brings her dangerously close to a secret the Pickles have sworn to keep."

Sandra Dallas vividly portrays the Depression in Kansas, and the loneliness of the women. I've used this book successfully with book clubs, and passed it on to many readers. Don't let Sandra Dallas' The Persian Pickle Club be forgotten!

And, for other Friday "Forgotten" Books, check out Patti Abbott's website at, where she summarizes all the suggestions for Friday.

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas. St. Martin's Press, ©1995. ISBN 9780312135867 (hardcover), 208p.


Kay said...

I agree that The Persian Pickle Club is a very good book, as is Tallgrass. Both are favorites of mine that I still recommend to others over and over and over. I was happy to see that TPPC recently had a new cover and, I would imagine, a reprint. I've heard kind of mixed reviews about Sandra Dallas' latest, but I'll look forward to hearing what you think about it. I'm trying to think how many of her books I've read. Not all, but a couple more.

Nann said...

Quiltmakers are readers, as Sandra Dallas has commented. (I have heard her twice at ALA.) They LOVE Persian Pickle and have certainly not forgotten it.
Sandra's new book is The Patchwork Bride. Publication is this month -- I got the ARC at Midwinter.

Lesa said...

Two of my favorites as well, Kay. I liked Sandra Dallas' The Patchwork Bride. Review tomorrow!

SandyG265 said...

I’ve never heard of this author but my local library has a a number of her books. Another one to add to my tbr list