Reviews

  • 8 Dec 2010

    praise for A Sandhills Ballad :
    “A Sandhills Ballad was a finalist for Women Writing the West's WILLA Award in 2010.”

  • 8 Dec 2010

    praise for A Sandhills Ballad :
    “A Sandhills Ballad selected as Editor's Choice Book in 2009”

    New York Times
  • 10 Jun 2010

    praise for None Found :
    “A Sandhills Ballad is finalist for 2009 ForeWord Book of the Year Award”

  • 14 May 2009

    praise for A Sandhills Ballad :
    “" . . . [a] quietly moving first novel." -- New York Times Book Review”

    New York Times Book Review
  • 14 May 2009

    praise for A Sandhills Ballad :
    “We never think we're good enough. Often, we think we deserve the bad that happens to us. It's a kind of sickness, this self-hatred, and it can swamp a life. In this bleak, familiar novel, Ladette Randolph paints a picture of two decades of a life dedicated to penance. Mary Rasmussen was driving the car that got hit by the truck that killed her young husband and forced doctors to amputate her leg. "She instantly saw herself as she always had in relation to the vastness of the sky: small vulnerable, fragile,momentary, free of scrutiny, silent. she was here now and someday she would be gone. Her disability and her new status as widow were not the beginning of feelings of inconsequence. There was a grim comfort in being reminded of what she had always believed was her true place in the scheme of things." In the kind, good family of Nebraska ranchers she comes from, there is very little talking done. Mary, subconsciously, devises her own punishment: marry the horrible self-satisfied preacher with the short teeth and fastidious morals, a man who will surely make her life and the lives of their four children a living hell. He forces them to live in the ramshackle parsonage, insisting that their comfort is of no importance. He denies her every possible pleasure and is the embodiment of the terrifying ability one human can have to ruin another person's life in a thousand small ways. Randolph has worked hard to get the Sandhills language right; she clearly has enormous respect for the ranching culture. This creates a kind of density of detail in the novel, sometimes at the expense of transitions (for example, the births of their four children, which happens in a few pages). but this is not grave--Mary's focus on detail is, after all, one of the things that keeps her alive. Born with the gift of premonition, she must learn, in spite of the preacher who tries to substitute faith for kindness, how to trust her own intuition.  Susan Reynolds--LA Times”

    Los Angeles Times