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A Small Harvest of Pretty Days Paperback – April 4, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Foremost Press (April 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978970446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978970444
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,941,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...a page-turner of a novel as gripping as it is harrowing. -- Tony D'Souza, author of Whiteman and The Konkans

...about a grown up Huck Finn...All together, a rich mix for fiction readers... -- Betsy Rider, The Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Williamsport, Pennsylvania

I enjoyed reading the book a great deal...it would adapt well as a...TV movie. Very well done! -- Liz, Booksville Literary Review

From the Publisher

Larry Kimport, a native of north-central Pennsylvania, uses this setting for his novel, A Small Harvest of Pretty Days. This tender love story is a first person narrative told through the voice of an older woman, Clara Waltz, and opens as she relates the events of her twenty-ninth year, when she and her illegitimate daughter, Emma, lived as domestic help to a prominent Pennsylvania family in 1890.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 73 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Cox VINE VOICE on March 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
Imagine this recipe: you take the tone of a classic story like "Little House on the Prairie"; the voice of a woman like Marty, of Janette Oke's "Love Comes Softly" series; set her down in north central Pennsylvania just as the 1800's become the 1900's. Then, add in a character who just may be the Huckleberry Finn, after several decades of wandering and mellowing, and for a finishing touch, give it just a hint of "Jane Eyre". You just might end up with something that tasted like Larry Kimport's "A Small Harvest of Pretty Days."

The book hooks the reader at the beginning with a plot device unusual for this type of story - Clara, the first-person narrator, describes how the first time she saw the man she came to know as Mr. Finley, she was running for her life. In the opening scene, Clara hints at how she knows, from personal experience, that the man she was running from meant her harm. As she hides inside a fallen tree - and this is a nice touch, since the trees of that era were big enough for a grown person to fit inside - she witnesses a murder. From my perspective, the questions surrounding this murder continue to pull the reader through the story, and change it from just another novel for the historical fiction shelves.

Indeed, Kimport blends the techniques and topics of contemporary fiction with the milieu and voice of a bygone era. The setting of the Twin Tiers (that's northcentral PA and southcentral NY, to those of you outside the area) in the 1890's is effectively woven into Clara's story, using details of the chores of daily life, the discussions on the lumber business heard around the dinner table with important male guests, the descriptions of clothing and tools, the leisure activities of the well-to-do, and the hardships of most travel.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By cruiser59 on June 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
This was a wonderful tale back in a simpler time. Larry Kimport does a great job of keeping you in suspense as the plot thickens until the end.
The book was hard to put down.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By George on July 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Larry Kimport's second novel, "A Small Harvest of Pretty Days," is a letter from a time, way of life, and mode of storytelling that evokes the best of turn-of-the-century Americana easily sentimentalized in lesser hands. But Kimport manages to transport us to 1890's Pennsylvania with relatively little overt façade; he taps the reservoir of this lost world in his first few paragraphs and offers a page-turner of a novel as gripping as it is harrowing. What Kimport does so well is what the great novelist constantly referenced in his book--Mark Twain--became the first American master of: characterization. Kimport's narrator and protagonist, Clara Waltz, is as rich and subtle a heroine as any of the myriad folk Twain so precisely drew as to carve them onto our collective consciousness. Indeed, it is impossible not to talk about Kimport and Twain in the same breath in the context of this book, because Huck Finn, Twain's greatest character of all, becomes an actual, indeed central, player in its pages.
At its heart, "A Small Harvest of Pretty Days" is a murder mystery in period dress. Narrated through the confessional prism of time, the book opens with Clara being followed by a couple of "brutish looking" men on "our frozen road to Montoursville,"another of the small, conservative lumber towns that dotted the Susquehanna Valley. One of the men participated in a brutal gang-rape of Clara a decade before, a rape that resulted in Clara's conceiving twins, one of whom she lost in birth, and the other, her daughter Emma who has since accompanied her in her life of marginalization, menial labor, and shame.
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