Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review: In the Garden of Stone by Susan Tekulve

In the Garden of Stone by Susan Tekulve

Publisher: Hub City Press 
Format: book 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Shortly before daybreak in War, West Virginia, a passing train derails and spills an avalanche of coal over sixteen-year-old Emma Palmisano's house, trapping her sleeping family inside. The year is 1924, and the remote mines of Appalachia have filled with families like Emma's immigrant laborers building new lives half a world away from the island of Sicily. Emma awakes in total darkness, to the voice of a railroad man, Caleb Sypher, digging her out from the suffocating coal. From his pocket he removes two spotless handkerchiefs and tenderly cleans Emma's bare feet. Though she knows little else about this railroad man, Emma marries him a week later, and Caleb delivers her from the gritty coal camp to thirty-four acres of pristine Virginia mountain farmland. 

Kritters Thoughts:  A generational story that takes place on one plot of land through a 50 year span as the land passes on and on and what can happen from one generation to another.  With both male and female leads, this book went somewhere different than I ever expected it to.  

My favorite narrator was Sadie, her story begins before she is on the property that is the central focus, but after she gets onto the property, I felt like the story really took off.  I loved her story and where she began and the journey she took while on the land was significant.  Her daughter's perspective was my other favorite, Haddie was able to tell another side of her immediate family's story and I found her to be a little more honest than her parents.

I absolutely adored the beginning and the ending, but the middle just kind wore on and at moments I felt like there were a few repetitive spots.  I wanted to like this book more than I ended up, but for fans of historical fiction where a family takes center stage and you watch them evolve from year to year, this book would be one to pick up.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


  1. I'm glad that it picked up for you by the end! Thanks for being on the tour.

  2. "...a family takes center stage and you watch them evolve from year to year,..."

    I love the idea that the family evolved...yet they also stayed the same and even when the members left, they still were rooted in the land. I don't remember Haddie? I loved this one! :)


Back to Top