My friend Pam J. of Manitoba recently posted this on Facebook:
Want a good read by the fireplace this winter? I highly recommend THE SOW'S EAR CAFE, by Holly Quan, my dear friend. You will love this book, set in southern Alberta. The characters draw you into their lives like you were standing right there with them. You will be hooked on Sweetgrass, love, laugh and cry with the people who live there. Beautifully written and flowing prose, so easy to read. At the last page you will be saying "oh no! Can't end here! We need to know what happens next to Lucie and Sweetgrass!" It calls for a sequel I think. I give SOW'S EAR CAFE 5 out of 5 stars! THANK YOU PAM for your kind words!
Every year, respected Calgary freelance writer Colleen Biondi compiles a list of favourite reads... The Sow's Ear Cafe is on her list
Here's the review:
Almost-forty Lucie, fleeing her self-destructive lifestyle, takes an accidental detour into small-town Alberta. Through the portals of nature and the ‘got-your-back-thick-and-thin’ community, Lucie begins the trek toward creating a life worth living. She meets her essential self, lives the pain and freedom of radical acceptance, realizes new meaning of kinship and romantic love, and walks herself into a better world. Accident is often synchronicity, and people are always and never what they seem. -- review written by D.R., Calgary
May 12 edition of the Calgary Herald - my book is #2 on their bestseller list!!
What's not to love about that?
WOO HOO!! 4.5 stars from SPR / Amazon The writing and storytelling in The Sow’s Ear Café comforts like a cozy literary blanket. Quan’s prose builds on itself, stacking well-crafted sentences into a descriptive narrative that evolves into clear insights as Lucie finds her true path. Each decision she makes rings true because Quan has built up to critical moments with a keen eye for detail. This novel rewards the reader with a literary journey of a simple but complicated love affair, and offers an opportunity to curl up and immerse in a world where second chances survive bumps and scrapes to turn doubt into happiness. Link to the full review
People who've read the book say: KR in Calgary says, "Holly has written for my magazine, City Palate, for years -- SUCH good writing, always. Reading Sow's Ear Café, could barely put it down, hated to finish it, slowed down my reading at the end not wanting to finish it, and might have to read it again, 'cause I loved it. Beautifully written, Holly, loved your people, they were real. Please write another one!" PH in Oakland, CA says, "Holly is a fine storyteller. Her story grabs you and pulls you in and you love being there with her people and her landscape. Thanks, Holly!" DW in North Saanich, B.C. says, "OK, this is the second time I’ve been up 'til after 3:30 am because I can’t put your book down! It is absolutely fabulous and I just could not put it down today until I finished it." SS in Grass Valley, CA says, "You gather human experiences and then share them so we can all feel it. Brilliant. I do want you to know how over the moon, proud I am of you and this book, and this landscape you describe with such care and knowing"
“The Sow’s Ear Café is an inspiring and comforting story” “The beautiful ranch and busy restaurant scenes come alive in these pages and elicits a serene country atmosphere” “The characters in Sweetgrass are true products of their environment... and add an emotional layer to Lucies’ Sweetgrass journey” “The story moves seamlessly from scene to scene through the lovingly described seasons, the characters grow to feel like good friends” “Lucie’s transition from a floundering thirtysomething to an enlightened and well-rounded woman who knows what she wants from life is a transformative one, with high-stakes action scattered throughout”
So exciting that The Sow's Ear Cafe has entered the world. I knew you had a good book. -- Joan Barfoot, Canadian author and mentor