This is a well told story of family, farm life, conflict, war, abuse, fear, love, support, humor, saddness, and life. I enjoyed it and wish there were more Sandra Dallas novels available.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
This story of a family and a small town in Colorado during WWII that happened to be chosen for a Japanese internment camp is one that will stay with me for a long time . . . before the camp, the town seemed pretty much "normal", neighbor helping neighbor, going to church on Sunday, women quilting together, children going to school, farmers working hard in the fields . . . then everything changed . . . fear gripped everyone, a girl was found raped and murdered . . . and the towns people knew for sure it was one of those Japanese prisoners that did it . . . draft notices started arriving . . . the young men started going off to war . . . the Stroud family, trying to remain at peace with everyone around them, trying to raise their beet crop, take care of their aging grandmother who has good days and bad, sends their own son, Buddy off to fight the war . . . and Rennie, their thirteen year old daughter suddenly has to grow up too fast . . . This beautiful, sensitive tale is told from Rennie's point of view . . . at a time in history when young girls were seldom taught or allowed to THINK or reason for themselves . . . in a time of war, hate and fear when people hurt other people and when one could either choose love . . . or something far worse . . . the mystery of Susan's murder (Rennie's young friend) makes for even more angst . . . Sandra Dallas did an excellent job in writing Tallgrass . . . the interview with the author at the end did not add to the experience, however . . . I turned it off. I'd much rather stay in the moment of the story . . . savoring that.
I enjoyed this one. It is true what another reviewer said about the names. It was a little tuff at first sorting out the characters, but you soon get it sorted out. The only thing I didn't care for was that after the mystery was solved the story continued with a side story I didn't find that interesting. The wrap up could have been better, too.
Maybe - it's definitely young adult, and I would have loved it when I was 12. It has moments of brilliance but it also has partial plot copies of To Kill a Mockingbird, without the edge. It's very simplistic, more simplistic than a young teen, and while the author challenges racial stereotypes of the period, she also reinforces others, such as the acceptance of highly gendered roles. The author's portrayal of farm life and rural community at the time reads well and true.
The father, although he seems to be an undisguised copy of Atticus Finch.
I usually love Lorelei King's reading, but she was truly miscast for this novel. She reads the voices as cute or comic and it comes across as overly twee. All the young kids' voices are presented as if they were 8 years old and bratty, even though they are in their teens and written to be thoughtful.
Maybe, on the Hallmark channel.
Great concept, good story, uneven writing, badly read. I would recommend the book to a 12-13 year old.
Say something about yourself!
I found the story well written and the characters were so well developed. I will be reading more books by Sandra Dallas. I also thought the narrator was perfect.
I very much enjoyed the characters in this story and the strong main family. The historical aspects were also very interesting and realistic. It held my attention and there was even some suspense.
Tallgrass is the fictional tale / mystery about an internment camp (aka prison) for Japanese – Americans in WWII. The camp is out on the eastern (flat) plains of Colorado (just where a real one was located), very different from the lush, fertile farmland in California where many of the inhabitants lived prior to being forcibly removed by the U.S. government. Sandra Dallas, a commercially very successful novelist (many movie options too). was a 30+ year reporter for Business Week located in Denver.
The story is told through the eyes of a young (13 to 16) woman but this is not a young adult book. Ms. Dallas' reporter training show through in neat and accurate historical details. There is an afterword exchange between the author and excellent narrator Lorelei King in which Ms. Dallas admits to being more fluent in writing about the lives of women. However, Tallgrass does feature a man, the young girl’s father, in a leading role.
Beyond recommending this book to women (duh!), I’d suggest it to any man who enjoys historical fiction, fiction about the west, or fiction about WWII … or to men like me who simply enjoy very well thought out and written stories based on the details, emotions and relationships of life.
If you enjoy historical fiction about the US West but have had enough of cowboys, one of my top 3 recommendations is another of Ms. Dallas' books, Prayers for Sale. It is about mining camps above 8,000 feet in the Rockies in the 1880's.
Informative as well as entertaining. It was a joy to "get to know" the brave Stroud family and to learn about life on a Colorado farm. Rennie Stroud was the perfect narrator for the story. Most importantly, Tallgrass gave me an increased appreciation for-- and a more informed perspective on--the heartbreaking plight of the Japanese-American people during WW II. Their ancestors should be proud of the way they conducted themselves in the face of the injustices they suffered.