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Inspiring,
Dramatic,
Beautiful

2 reviews

Hold Up the Sky
by Patricia Sprinkle

Published: 2010-03-02
Paperback : 432 pages
5 members reading this now
1 club reading this now
0 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
From a veteran writer new to the Accent list, a novel about four women who find strength and insight in each other.

Mamie is facing an overwhelming secret. Margaret has lost her home. Billie can no longer care alone for her disabled daughter. And Maria is living with an untenable ...
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Introduction

From a veteran writer new to the Accent list, a novel about four women who find strength and insight in each other.

Mamie is facing an overwhelming secret. Margaret has lost her home. Billie can no longer care alone for her disabled daughter. And Maria is living with an untenable choice. When these four women come together to live on a drought-stricken Georgia farm, they must open their hearts, and share their burdens, before they can find the bounty that lies hidden in tough times, and once again see the glorious pattern of meaning in their lives.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

Some people keep memories in scrapbooks or diaries. Mine are preserved in quart Ball jars. They sit on my pantry shelves in shining rows. As autumn sunlight glances off their bright faces, they gleam like stained glass: scarlet tomatoes, emerald beans, golden peaches, and blueberries the color of my sister’s eyes. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the author:

1) Which of the four women in this book did you feel the most compassion for and why?
2) How has each of the main characters contributed to her own troubles by choices she has made and which of her troubles were not of her own making?
3) In what ways does each of the characters grow during their long hot summer together?
4) Billie and Margaret experience two very different kinds of poverty. Which of them do you most identify with and why?
5) Emerita’s arrival raises questions for Margaret about undocumented immigrants in this country, yet by the end of the book she is praying for Emerita’s safety. “It’s not about immigration laws, it’s about Emerita,” Margaret says. How does knowing a person rather than knowing about a situation change our perspective?
6) This story is partly about the glue that holds a family together. What issues arose for the family after Grace’s death that have to be addressed in this story? What precipitates various changes in Bill, Billie, and Margaret?
7) Have you experienced a difficult time which other women got you through?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Note from the author:

What does a woman do when she reaches the end of her rope? She finds another woman to help her tie on another piece. That is the premise of HOLD UP THE SKY.

The title comes from a proverb that “Women hold up half the sky.” Four women—Billie Waits, Margaret Baxter, Mamie Fountain, and Emerita Gonzalez—are holding up more than their share one summer as they work together in a sweltering kitchen. Fiercely independent, each has a secret that threatens to overwhelm her. Billie’s estranged husband has stopped sending checks to support their handicapped daughter. Margaret has lost her husband, her house, and her older son. Emerita is terrified of being deported. And Mamie has a secret she won’t tell even her daughter.

They are not friends, although two are sisters, but as they share their stories in angry outbursts and reluctant confession, they learn how much they have in common. They discover their true strength lies not in independence but in interdependence, and only together can they hold up the sky.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Great Read!"by NoleChica (see profile) 07/13/10

 
  "HOLD UP THE SKY"by AWHC (see profile) 07/07/10

It was a wonderful and beautiful story.

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