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Sarah's Window: A Novel Hardcover – October 29, 2001

4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sarah Bryden is set to shake the dust of the Kansas Flint Hills from her shoes and pursue art and higher learning in brighter and more sophisticated venues when her beloved grandfather loses his leg in a gruesome quarry accident at the start of this flowery drama. As grandma bitterly points out, the old man was still on the job only to pay for Sarah's highfalutin education, so she owes it to him to come home and help take care of him. She goes to work as a waitress at the Cassoday Cafe ("Good Food and Gossip, Established 1879") and a generous slice of the world comes to her door. There's Joy Bell, the Cassoday's good-hearted proprietor. There's Billy Moon, a widowed high school history teacher who becomes Sarah's suitor. And there is the intriguing and brilliant John Wilde, recently moved to town with his too-cool wife, Susan, and their disturbed adopted son, Will. Sarah's developing relationship with the Wildes is the center around which the novel revolves. It's clear from the moment of their meeting that the friendship is to be more than casual. The bleak, grassy landscape of the Flint Hills is lovingly described and sets the tone for the novel, though the action moves far away from Kansas, to Paris and Cambridge, England. Graham (Firebird) is an astute chronicler of sentiment and motive, but she allows the novel's point of view to skip incessantly from character to character. These inconsistencies and a few plot stretches (the finale especially is manipulative) are obscured in a rosy haze of romance, but readers may still feel the bumps. (Oct.)Forecast: Firebird had a lot of high-profile admirers (Mary Higgins Clark and John Jakes among them), but Graham's latest isn't likely to pick up a lot of new fans, though it is a Literary Guild main selection.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In her second novel (after Firdbird), Graham tells the story of Sarah Bryden, a creative young woman who lives with her grandparents in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Sarah put her dreams of college and travel on hold after her grandfather had an accident. Now working as a waitress, she paints whenever she can and affects the lives of those in her circle more than she realizes. There's Billy Moon, Sarah's former teacher and would-be lover; John and Susan Wilde and their adopted baby, Will; and Joy, Sarah's friend and employer. When the Wildes first move to the area, Sarah and John are attracted to each other a problem that is exacerbated by Sarah's relating better to John's new son than his wife, Susan, does. Slowly, pretenses are stripped away, new emotional ties develop, and static relationships seem doomed. After a flood causes multiple tragedies, Sarah takes control of her life, which blossoms unexpectedly. Women readers especially will enjoy this poignant, beautifully written story. Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, MD
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 283 pages
  • Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons; 1st edition (October 29, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399146296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399146299
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,150,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


Janice Graham was raised in Kansas and obtained her M.A. in French literature before pursuing graduate film studies at USC and English literature at UCLA in Los Angeles, California. Her screenplay Until September, a romantic comedy situated in Paris, was made into a film starring Karen Allen and Theirry Lhermitte. Her first novel, Firebird, became a New York Times and international bestseller. After a series of contemporary women's fiction, she turned to historical fiction. Romancing Miss Bronte, written as Juliet Gael, is her highly acclaimed novel about Charlotte Brontë. After twenty years in Paris, Athens, Jerusalem and a few other places in between, she's now homing in Florence, Italy.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Janice Graham has written a wonderfully touching book that will leave you both happy and,momentarily, sad. It is the story of Sarah Bryden,an artist and free spirit, living in a small Kansas town. A physicist,John Wilde,and his wife,Susan,move there to attempt to find a quiet place to raise their difficult adopted baby, Will. An accident leaves Susan unable to care for Will,whom she could never accept from the beginning. Sarah takes charge of Will,giving her a happiness that had eluded her for years. In turn,Will started developing in an unexpected way. John and Sarah soon become more than attracted to each other,falling deeply into a love that seemed hopeless to both of them. A flood,followed by a tragedy, seperates the two of them. What follows is the poignant story of seperation,unrequited love,attempts at a renewed life, and,finally,the joyous reunion that will leave you feeling so good that you read this book. Janice Graham takes you right there,whether it is Kansas,Paris,Greece or England. You feel a part of the locale. Her character development is excellent. Of the many characters in the book,you feel quite familar with them all. You will love Sarah and live with her through all of her pain,all of her joys,even sheding a few tears before you rejoyce at the ending. This book is so well written and a pleasure to read.
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Format: Hardcover
This morning, I finished Sarah's Window by Janice Graham, and wish I could be reading it for the first time. While browsing at a bookstore recently I was attracted to this title by the lovely cover of the book. I quickly read the dust jacket and decided to purchase this book and couldn't wait to read it. But when I returned home and read about the author on the back of the book, I realized that I had read Janice Graham's first book, Firebird, and didn't much care for it. I really did begin to wonder how I would enjoy Sarah's Window. Well, I come here now to say that sometimes you can judge a book by its cover and always give an author a second chance.
Sarah Bryden is a young woman living in the area of the Flint Hills of Kansas. With dreams of studying art at the University, she's foced to return home when her grandfather suffers a devestating accident. Raised by her grandparents after her mother dies, Sarah works as a waitress at a local cafe, paitinting in her spare time and attracting the heart of a widowed high school teacher who once taught her. Unfortunately, an ill fated love affair a number of years ago has left Sarah resigned to the single life she now leads.
Into her midst comes John Wilde, a professor of physics from California, who will be working in the area for a couple of months. He also brings with him his wife, a former resident of the town, and their difficult adopted baby. When Sarah becomes acquainted with the family there is almost an instant bond between baby, Will and Sarah. It seems as though only she can quiet him down, feed him and put him to bed. When Will's mother is hurt in an auto accident she is only too happy to care for the baby.
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Format: Hardcover
I truly enjoyed Janice Graham's first novel, "Firebird" and eagerly awaited her second. "Sarah's Window" was well worth the wait. I started this last night and couldn't stop till the last page. It is the story of Sarah Bryden, an artist forced to give up on college and come home to the Flint Hills and care for her grandparents. She waitress's by day and paints in her room at night. A physicist, his wife and adopted son move to the area and Sarah is drawn to the family as a caretaker for the child. Sarah can get close to this child whereas the adopted parents have never been able to. John the husband is drawn to Sarah her beauty and talent. The story that unfolds is captivating in wanting to know how these people will come to find true love and their innerselves. "Sarah's Window" is the perfect love story to warm your heart.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book in a small bookstore and it captured my attention immediatly. The cover art coupled with the outline of the story sounded perfect. I will say that through most of the book, I was captured. I loved the characters, the story line and it was well written. It was one of those books that I would grab every spare second I could find to just stay with this story.
Unfortunatly, I was very disappointed in the ending.Afetr developing characters and a storyline that was plausable, the ending went offto, what I feel, a very unbelievable ending. I hate to say that but I feel that I must. I will be looking forward to the next story by Ms. Graham as I saw so much potential in this book. I am glad that I read the story but have a secret wish, that ten years from now the story might end in a more believable way. Sorry
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book at a local bookstore and thought, hm, the cover sure is pretty! I also thought the plot of the story was interesting too. It's a good read ~~ but not one of the best ones I have read this year. It's a great book for those times when you're tired and don't need anything heavy to read! It is also a quick read too ~~ I managed to finish this in two days ~~ which is a record for me lately!

This book is about Sarah who lives in Kansas. She dropped out of college to take care of her grandparents. After suffering a broken love affair, she has closed her heart to any kind of relationship. A secret artist, she ends up taking care of John Wilde's son, who is severely undernourished and refuses to go near his mother, Susan. Sarah and Will developed a strong bond and in the process, Sarah and John falls in love.

It is written beautifully ~~ and harshly. It is a look at love in all shapes ~~ love of one's child, love of one's friend, and love between lovers. It is about dreams that have been broken only to be found again. It is about secrets. It is about life.

If you're looking for a good book to read ~~ someplace to carry you away ~~ this one would be a good one to start with. If you're looking for something more substantial ~~ this one would not be the one.

10-14-05
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