Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Funeral Dress


Having a blog of my own often I am asked to review products. Many of these are books. I try to   limit book reviews to books that pertain somehow to homesteading, gardening, canning and occasionally quilting.  Recently I was asked to review a new book out called The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore. This book really caught my eye because of the subject matter.

Here's an excerpt from the book : 


A deeply touching Southern story filled with struggle and hope.     Emmalee Bullard and her new baby are on their own. Or so she thinks, until Leona Lane, the older seamstress who sat by her side at the local shirt factory where both women worked as collar makers, insists Emmalee come and live with her.  Just as Emmalee prepares to escape her hardscrabble life in Red Chert holler, Leona dies tragically.  Grief-stricken, Emmalee decides she’ll make Leona’s burying dress, but there are plenty of people who don't think the unmarried Emmalee should design a dress for a Christian woman - or care for a child on her own. But with every stitch, Emmalee struggles to do what is right for her daughter and to honor Leona the best way she can, finding unlikely support among an indomitable group of seamstresses and the town’s funeral director. In a moving tale exploring Southern spirit and camaraderie among working women, a young mother will compel a town to become a community.


We have talked on this blog before about how my mama was a seamstress that worked in a sewing factory in Mississippi during the war. 

And a southern story no less, I have to admit I was hooked. And the main character came from a holler.  I agreed to the review and a week or so later got my book in the mail and Baby O and I laid down on the floor laughing. The book came with a pack of tissue. Really!!

Well ladies we have all read those books. You know the ones! You pick it up off the stand and something catches your eye. Some little thing you can relate to and it pulls you in. The next thing you know it is 2:00 am and you are sitting in the recliner with a pint of chocolate ice cream and a paper back. Yes crying your eyes out. But after all what did I expect. It came with tissue.  Every girl... even us old ones need a good cry every so often. 

This is a great story and a great read. Believable characters and even christian based. I ran through every emotion you can imagine with this story. I laughed, I cried, I was angry and sad and when it was all over I just wanted to hug her. 

If you are looking for a good book to curl up with on a snowy winter afternoon then this is the book for you!  It's not about gardening, or canning, or homesteading it is just about life. It's about being a woman and a mother. 

The publisher will give away one copy to one of my lucky readers. 

To win it leave a comment below on the last book that made you cry. Or maybe the best. 

Friday Sept. 27th I'll draw a name from the lucky readers to win. 

Please leave a valid email address and once I notify the winner they have 48 hours to claim their prize and send me a mailing address to pass along to the publisher. I will email and post the winner on this blog. After 48 hours if no one comes forth I will draw another name and the first will be disqualified. US residents only.  


THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!!!!



  Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter




46 comments:

  1. The last one was one of those books a new mother fills out as their child grows. I found the one my mom filled out about me while going through her things. Yesterday would have been her birthday, but she went Home last October 6.

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  2. I would have to say the most recent one was "Still Alice". It tells about early on-set Alzheimer's from the patient's point of view. Very moving.

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  3. I'm going to be honest and say that last one that made me cry was when I finished the Harry Potter books. We've watched the movies and loved them but we were wanting to finally read the books after seeing all the movies. Backwards is a good way to explain us sometimes, :) I know it's silly its a childs book series after all but my boys were wanting to read them and I wanted to be sure before they read them that they would be ok for them to read, if that makes sense. Anyway I went through ever single emotion reading those books and during several times during the books I found myself leaky about the eyes and then unexpectedly when I finished the last sentence of the very last book and closed the book I sobbed. It was an emotional roller coaster but a wonderful series!!!

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  4. I am a Debbie Macomber fan. I don't remember which book I read last, but I am always sucked in when I read her books. I know that I have laughed and cried when I have read her books. I do remember reading the books from Dave Pelzer. A true life story of him growing up and being abused. I never cried so much in my whole life as when I read those books.

    Beth

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  5. Oh my gosh, I need a good cry over a story, instead of things like spilled milk, and deer sneaking into the carrots!

    Put me down for the drawing, the book sounds great.

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  6. Oh my gosh, I need a good cry over a story, instead of things like spilled milk, and deer sneaking into the carrots!

    Put me down for the drawing, the book sounds great.

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  7. Oh my gosh, I need a good cry over a story, instead of things like spilled milk, and deer sneaking into the carrots!

    Put me down for the drawing, the book sounds great.

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  8. Sounds like a wonderful book and I would love to read it. My mother made all our clothes when we were growing up and she was a wonderful seamstress. I miss her so much and wish she were here to teach me.

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  9. Sounds like a good read. My favorite book is "Evidence Not Seen" by Darlene Deibler Rose. It is a book about a missionary who was taken captive during World War II. Amazing Story
    fiveburners at aol dot com

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  10. The last book I read that made me cry Family Patterns by Kristin Ekhardt. My mother loaned me the book and I was hooked. My mother and I went through a brief estrangement that simply resolved itself upon the passing of my husband. Since then we have become extremely close and she has taught me a lot. I am now canning my own fruits and vegetables, making quilts and doing a lot of things I never felt like I was capable of doing before. The main character reminds me a lot of my mother, she is very determined and she always does anything she can for people. I don't recall ever hearing my mom ask "what's in it for me" when she does for others. Even if I am not the lucky winner, I highly recommend this book and the series that follows. It is a great read for anyone interested in stories about family.

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  11. OH dear.. Sounds like a wonderful book.. Cant wait to read it.. however I come across it. :)
    My great grandmother and one of my grandmothers were also seamstresses.. and we're definitely Southern.. all the way!

    The last book I read that made me cry was Amanda Knox's book "Waiting to Be Heard." I finished it yesterday. Shes a very good writer and the book is quite thick, but I read thru it in a matter of days.. mostly 1 or 2 hours at night like you described.. Excellent book. I've always believed strongly in her innocence.. and I still do.

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  12. I'm needing a good cry. Everything seems piled up. My mom took in sewing when I was growing up. She was a single mom when the phrase was only whispered. She was a beautiful seamstress. I remember a wedding that she sewed in entirety. I would love to read this book.

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  13. The book that always continues to make me cry it 'I'll Love you Forever" - a children's book - yes, but how we all can relate to it......
    Jackie

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  14. Your review makes me want to read this book!! My grandmother stitched in a shirt factory in eastern Arkansas. I cry easily and usually every book brings a few tears. I am reading every James Lee Burke book I can find as he writes about New Orleans and southern Louisiana from the view point of Dave Robecheaux, a Louisana policeman. If I don't win, I'll be pestering my library to get 'The Funeral Dress'!!!

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    1. Hey, Gwenette! I am with you and love James Lee Burke too and have read all of his books. If you get the chance to hear some of the books on tape, the guy who reads them is wonderful, and you almost feel like you are there. When Katrina hit Louisana I wrote to Mr. Burke and told him I was thinking of him and his wife and that I hoped they were ok. He wrote back!!! What a thrill. Your friend in reading, Christy.

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  15. "The Year of Pleasures" by Elizabeth Berg, which is the story of how a woman finds a way to move on after the death of her husband. This is such a moving story. She is one of my favorite authors and never disappoints. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. I hope all of you have read Heaven Is For Real. That was the last book I read and I couldn't put it down. If I were to win this book I would donate it to our church library. I took in sewing when my boys were little to help earn a little extra money. I learned how to sew on my Grandma Hatfield's treadle sewing machine when I was very small. It now sits in my sons basement with its can of attachments. That was a very special time with Grandma!

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  17. The best cry I've had in a while was when I was listening to "A Walk to Remember" by Nicholas Sparks. I didn't get around to it until after the book and movie had been out for a while but I popped it in the CD player while driving up I-95 to see my husband off to Afghanistan. I was crying so hard by the time I got to Columbia, SC, I had to pull off the road and compose myself! ha You are right - everybody needs a good cry now and then. I learned to sew from my mother and grandmother, who learned to sew from my great-grandmother.

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  18. Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rosebe sure to have tissues.

    Coni

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  19. Saw this book reviewed on another blog and put it on my wish list...so will try to win again! Thanks

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  20. I love a book that pulls me in and then wrings me out; this sounds like such a book. I can't pick just one book, but two books that I have read in the past couple of years that have stayed with me are, "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" and "The Book Thief". Both are haunting stories of unique characters.

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  21. After 12 yrs. of homeschooling the only things I have read were curriculum guides! Some of them made me cry! I am no longer homeschooling our 3 and will have time for a good fiction book of my own! I would love to start with one that has gotten such good reviews.

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  22. The except that you posted make this book sound like a great read and one that I would want to share with my girls. This last book that I read that keep the water works going was a book my son was reading and had me to read. The Shack.

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    1. I forgot to add email ajray53@hotmail.com

      Thanks Janett

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  23. Gosh. I read ALOT. There are alit if books that move me so its hard to pin one down. My most recent fave was The Help. But I love classic literature too so anything by Kafka or Emile Zola are personal bests.

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  24. Sounds like a wonderful book...I read Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson, her story of surviving burns over 80 % of her body. I also follow her blog. A very inspiring woman.

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  25. And the 27th is my birthday! That would be a nice present!! :) The last book that made me cry was The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. I was fortunate enough to hear the author speak about her life - this book was amazing - funny, sad, and thought provoking.

    My email is: donandkathymorgan@gmaildotcom

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  26. My favorite tear jerker of all time is Jane Eyre. I may have read it again!

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  27. I am reading "Goodbye to a River" I laughed till I cried at one point.....
    Vicky_sutherland@yahoo.com

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  28. Oh I do need a good book to pull me away from the mountains of produce still yet to process. Thank you for the opportunity to get away from the long job of putting up food for the winter. I need a break.
    Elizabeth

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  29. "Loving Frank" - the ending is so terribly unexpected I couldn't keep the tears back.

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  30. I love Jodi Picoult! She always has a twist at the end of her books that you really don't see coming. My favorite is Nineteen Minutes. If you love reading stories that could actually be true, you will love her.
    mistybrown7@gmail.com

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  31. Linda Parke lunylinda@hotmail.comSeptember 22, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    My last book was The Help it made me cry and laugh it was a great book.

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  32. The last book to make me cry is a book I have read several times and am currently reading to my 11-year old daughter. It is called Gifted Hands by Ben Carson. This book is an inspirational book about his life and how his mother pushed him, and his brother, to make something of themselves. Ben Carson is a well known neurosurgeon and uses his God given gift to help the hopeless. I recently heard him speak at a fundraiser and he is every bit as wonderful in person as he is in the book he wrote! Love, love, love this book :O)

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    1. I forgot to leave my e-mail...sewsecret (at) g mail (dot) com

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  33. I hope this will count - the last book I read that made me cry was the book my mother wrote me called "Mother Remembers". This book is where you answer questions about your childhood, life as a young married couple and as a young mother, your memories, etc. My mother answered each question and added lots of addtional information. I learned a lot about her struggles as a young sibling of 7 being raised by a young mother and daddy who taught them about LOVE. This book is really special to me (my only sibling, my 43 yr old brother passed away unexpectly on August 5th) so it makes me feel even closer to my family. My grandmother is still living today - she is 88 years old and such a great inspiration to me. Please enter me in the contest to win the book. Thanks, Cindy from Alabama (nascarfan20@teleclipse.net)

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  34. The last book I read that made me cry was The Help. I cried and laughed actually. :) I LOVE to read!
    Thanks
    Jenn D

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  35. Sounds like a good read. I'm a bit of a nerd...the last book the made me cry was a non-fiction work, Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast, by Mike Tidwell which describes in detail not only the environmental tragedy to the land and water I love, but also the tragic end to a culture. It was a heartbreaker for me. (PrepperA was reading over my shoulder and said the last book that made her cry was The Kill Order.)

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  36. Unbroken, by Lauren Hillebrand is an AMAZING read. It speaks of a generation (my grandparents) that I miss very, very much. Really, it's a must read.

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  37. Oh, and duh (I can't follow directions!) my email is aflores@appliedplanning.com

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  38. Tested by Fire by Kathy Herman...I couldn't put it down. It was the first book by her I had read. It was just so sad.
    amishwoman49@ hotmail.com

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  39. An unlikely choice probably but The Clan of the Cave Bear, which I've now read three times, makes me cry every single time! I've read the whole series a couple of times and cry in every one of them! blessings, marlene

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  40. I would love to read this book and to be included in your drawing. :)

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  41. Whenever I read "love you forever" by Robert Munch to my kids I tear up..

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  42. In a Heartbeat by Sally Jacobs. Oh so good.

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