Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Virtual Blog Tour: Dinner With Lisa by R.L. Prendergast Book Review

Summary from goodreads: In the disastrous economic times of the 1930s, Joseph Gaston, a young widower with four children, arrives in the small town of Philibuster seeking security for his family. Instead, he faces barriers everywhere. He does his best despite great adversity, but the strain of feeding and protecting his family whittles away his strength. Finally, destitution forces him to consider giving up his children in order to save them. Enraged by his situation, he attempts one last desperate act—on the night he learns about the mysterious Lisa. 

Heart wrenching, humorous and historically authentic, Dinner with Lisa incorporates the crucial issues of the depression: poverty, unemployment, drought and racism. In the midst of love and loyalty, trickery and despair, the ultimate message of the novel is one of hope and the courage to survive even the worst odds.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Historical fiction is a love of mine, and this book is set in a time period about which I know very little.  Sure, I have heard of the Great Depression, and I know basic facts, but I have not read many books set in that era.  And this is the first time I have read a book set in Canada during that time period. 

I felt that the characters were fairly realistic and well-developed. I had no idea that there were so many immigrants from Italy and China that lived in Canada at this time.  And the racial tension is something I honestly never considered.  When I think about racism, I always think of blacks and whites.  I forget about what other races and ethnic groups have experienced, and I had no idea that it was so bad in Canada.

To read about the plight of this single father with four kids was truly heart-wrenching sometimes.  And to read about the horrific events of the Depression made me realize that as bad as things are now for us with this economy, we have virtually nothing to complain about.  I think we often forget about how good we have it!

My only criticisms of the manuscript were the language and the fact that sometimes the action lagged a little.  I grew tired of the unnecessary profanity--especially from the children.  And sometimes the action seemed nonexistent.  I appreciated the description, but there were portions of it that read like a classic--which is truly not a bad thing.  I was glad that there was no graphic sex in it--a welcome reprieve!

One of the most clever things about the book was the title.  I kept wondering what on earth the title had to do with the story.  I kept wondering who Lisa was.  It took almost till the end of the book for me to figure it out!  I always enjoy a little twist to the story at the end of the book when you think the story is just about ready to wrap up!

The message of family staying together and right triumphing over evil did come through, and I truly appreciated that.  It is not a book to be taken lightly, but I would say that if you are willing to take the time to read it, you will benefit from the story and the message.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

About the Author:  (From his site)
R. L. (Rod) Prendergast was the entrepreneurial kid you saw on your neighbourhood street selling lemonade on a hot summer's day. Recognizing young Rod's preoccupation with money, his mother bribed him to read with an offer of 25 cents per book—and instilled in him a lifelong love of reading. Although he continued down the path of industry—he started and sold his first business before completing his Bachelor of Commerce—he continued to read voraciously. After a number of years working in sales, marketing and management for several companies he spent a year's sabbatical surfing and reading in New Zealand and, free of business pressures, he began to write. Those first words became the backbone of The Impact of a Single Event—which was long listed for the Independent Publishers Book Award for literary fiction, and which became a national bestseller in Canada. Spurred on by the success of his first novel, he took another sabbatical and wroteDinner with Lisa. He is currently working on his next book. 

Follow all the stops on the tour:
So Many Precious Books Feb. 28 Giveaway
Mrs. Q Book Addict Mar. 1 Review
Darlene’s Book Nook  Mar. 2 Guest Post & Giveaway
Ink Spots and Roses Mar. 6 Interview & Giveaway
Ink Spots and Roses Mar. 7 Review
WV Stitcher  Mar. 8 Review
WV Stitcher
 Mar. 9 Guest Post
Lit and Life Mar. 9 Review
Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf Mar. 12 Review
Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf Mar. 13 Guest Post
Book Spark
 Mar. 13 Review & Giveaway
A Casual Reader’s Blog  Mar. 14 Review
A Casual Reader’s Blog Mar. 15 Guest Post & Giveaway
My Devotional Thoughts
 Mar. 15  Review
So Many Precious Books
 Mar. 16   Review
Reflections of a Book Addict
 Mar. 19
A Bookish Affair
 Mar. 20 Review
A Bookish Affair
 Mar. 21 Interview & Giveaway
All I Ever Read
 Mar. 21 Review
This Miss Loves to Read
 Mar. 22 Review
Peeking Between the Pages
 Mar.23 Review & Giveaway
Let Them Read Books
 Mar. 25 Review
The Wormhole
 Mar. 26  Review & Giveaway
Library of Clean Reads
 Mar. 27  Review & Giveaway
Hardcover Feedback
 Mar. 29 Review
Hardcover Feedback
 Mar. 30 Interview & Giveaway
Col Reads
 Mar. 30 Review   


1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for taking part in the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed the book.


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