Friday, July 10, 2009

BOOK: Clara Callen by Richard B Wright

Clara Callen by Richard B Wright, 415 pages

Book Awards III: Giller, 2001; 3rd Canadian Book Challenge; themed reading challenge: epistolary books

Dear Clara,
I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading your journals and letters from those four years during the 1930s. You provided a nice overview of events during the Depression, just as background, as well as what life might be like for a single lady living alone in small town Ontario. But more importantly, you showed the struggle to find personal happiness and our place in this world.

I liked your voice, and your mistakes, and your dignity in the face of difficulties. Your loving but realistic relationship with your sister, the big time radio actress living in New York City. I hope more readers discover your wonderful story.

In appreciation,


  1. I really like the way you wrote your review! Nice change of pace. This is on my TBR.

  2. This sounds good and I agree with Teddy, the way your review is written is different and effective.

    Good morning! :)

  3. What a clever review! And the book sounds lovely. My Grandmother was a young woman during the Depression. She passed away 2 years ago and I was given the diaries she kept long ago. I was so honored to get the chance to meet my "young" Grandma. I wrote about that last gift she gave me and if you're interested, that post is here.

  4. What a great review format! I love epistolary novels and didn't realize this was one. I remember seeing it when it came out but didn't know much about it. I'll have to add it to my list :)

  5. Loved this style of review! I have looked at this book several times but always put it back on the shelf. Now you have piqued my interest again.

  6. I always like discovering where my reading priorities lie. Reading your review, I have discovered that my love of epistolary novels trumps my dislike of Great Depression novels. Great review! :)

  7. This is probably one of my favourite Canadian novels of all time. I am glad you enjoyed it! Great review. Makes me want to reread it, but I such at rereading!

  8. Dear Raidergirl,
    Yours is my favourite epistolary blog. I have had Clara Callan on my bookshelf for about 7 years now and I still haven't read it. You have inspired me to bump it up a few years. I'm now looking at 2013.

  9. I love this review. I like when reviews are written differently and creatively like this. I somehow have not done this, but I should! I like it.

  10. teddy rose - thanks, it just came to me

    sheila - Clara was so no nonsense, and her style is like my style, maybe that's why I liked her, and the book, so much.

    terri - I saw that post; it was lovely and very similar to Clara Callen. The movies were a big deal in the 1930s.

    illiana - I love epistolary novels as well, and seldom am disappointed, but I didn't like Gilead.

    kim - glad I could provide a bump.

    jenny - So episotolary > depression
    That could be a fun game, in comparing books.

    kailana - I can't believe I haven't heard of it before, other than seeing it on the Giller list. I'll be promoting it to my friends from now on.

    Dear John (do you get a lot of these letters?)
    Awww, thanks,
    I'll look for your opinion, in 2013ish.

    rebecca:) - welcome, it made the review very easy to write, and perfectly suited this book. You'll have to try it for a review.

  11. I've wanted to read this one for some time. Lately, all I have read is YA. I think I need a little adult fiction in my life!

    Nice review. Cute!

  12. loved this review, how creative!

  13. Stop by when you have time... I have an award for you!

  14. Thanks for the review. That looks like an interesting book.

  15. I would love to read this one.


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