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The Persian Pickle Club

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  13,427 Ratings  ·  1,822 Reviews
It is the 1930s, and hard times have hit Harveyville, Kansas, where the crops are burning up, and there's not a job to be found. For Queenie Bean, a young farm wife, a highlight of each week is the gathering of the Persian Pickle Club, a group of local ladies dedicated to improving their minds, exchanging gossip, and putting their quilting skills to good use. When a new me ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 15th 1996 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published September 15th 1995)
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) It's anyone's guess. This was kind of like Murder on the Orient Express.
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Book Club List
94th out of 547 books — 780 voters
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls WilderThe Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer ChiaveriniThe Persian Pickle Club by Sandra DallasThe Runaway Quilt by Jennifer ChiaveriniThe Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini
Quilt on the Cover
3rd out of 139 books — 24 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jim Butler
Feb 23, 2008 Jim Butler rated it it was amazing
My grandparents and great-grandparents, the Butlers and the Fouts, owned farms probably on the exact land Sandra Dallas places her story. I spent many a summer break helping out on the farm. The pickle club so matches the politeness, rhythm, dialect, and pace of my grandmother's and the extended families' speech that I cried at the rememberences. The stories "Bean", as my grandfather was known (omigosh, "Queenie Bean" a coincidence?), and my father told me of growing up in the depression echoed ...more
Mar 02, 2008 Mindy rated it it was amazing
Great book! About a sewing club in a small town. How the women love each other and take care of each other when they need too. There is a murder aspect to the story as well. So fun. Good book club book.
May 17, 2008 Gigi rated it really liked it
This book was chosen for a book club. I enjoy books from by gone era's and this is one of them. It takes a look at the lives of women living in Kansas during the depression. It illustrates their strong characters, their work ethic, and the strength of friendship. Besides all of this it has a wonderful plot with twists and turns that made it even more enjoyable to read. I also liked the book because it reminds us that even people living "simple" lives can have a strong understanding of those arou ...more
Sep 01, 2009 Julianne rated it really liked it
I saw that all the book clubs in America seemed to be reading this book, so I was glad when my church book club chose this title. First let me say that this is a clean and wholesome book, and I can recommend it to anyone. But then suddenly, about three-fourths of the way in, there's a swear word! And it is shocking! However, it is in an extreme scene where the use of the word can be justified, so I chose not to take offense. All the ladies at the book club agreed. So don't worry about that.

Sep 27, 2009 Tonya rated it liked it
This was a quick read, a book about friendships in the 1930s Kansas during the depression. The ladies gathered once a week to quilt and called their quilting group "The Persian Pickle Club", named after paisley fabric for which the design reminded them of persian pickles. A young woman named Rita marries a young man who had grown up in the town, and they settle in. There is a "secret" among the townfolk and Rita is bound and determined to find out the truth and discover the secret. She's itching ...more
Apr 10, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I thought I had read this when it first came out and I remember not liking it - I thought it was wonderful this time around. I had trouble keeping all of the Pickle ladies straight and who was related to whom, so I wrote up a chart. That made the story SO much easier to follow. This book is about friendship through and through. It really made me look at my friendships and to value those friends for who they are and not critize for what they are not. Sandra Dallas did it again!
Mar 28, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book by Sandra Dallas. I know she is tremendously popular, but I have never taken the time to read one of her books myself. I am glad I started with this one.

While this book may not be for everyone, I think those that enjoy Southern Lit will like it. It transported me back to easier times while I read it. Neighbors getting together and helping each other out, no cell phones, no computers. I have often thought I would have liked to live during this time in history, hard tho
May 10, 2010 Jen rated it it was amazing
I guess I'm on a quilt book kick. (thanks to my mom, who picked out some books for me at the library when I was home-bound!) and I liked this one better than the Jennifer Chiaverini ones. Makes me want to get together with some friends and quilt!

This has better characters, a better story (oooo a murder mystery!) and was much more interesting. I wish I'd read it when my book group read it because I think it would make for a good discussion. Great ending!!
Aug 01, 2010 Latharia rated it really liked it
This came recommended from a friend who's recommended other books to me in the past -- ones I would normally have completely bypassed, like The Help and Water For Elephants. I enjoyed this book as well & was thoroughly entranced by the characters! I was also wildly amused at my own reactions to the farming culture that apparently also runs pretty deep in my own history -- I recognized my grandmothers' experiences in many of the Pickles' own!
Sep 08, 2010 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
I've read at least a handfull of books about the Kansas dust bowl and/or the hardships of the 1930's and most were so mournful or stress-inducing that they left me with a hollow feeling that took a long time to relieve. The Persian Pickle Club takes an entirely different approach by showcasing a community of people that have very little but share what they have.

I was impressed by Dallas' characters because she succeded in creating an environment of need and deprivation without presenting a group
More like 3.5 stars. And I was hesitant to call this historical fiction. But I did learn a lot about every day life in the 1930's depression era.

This book immediately drew me in by its poignant, well articulated voice of a small town farmer’s wife with spunk. The storytelling was casual and upbeat. And the often humorous metaphors were farm appropriate and well drawn out.

Luckily, this is such a short book that the slow pace didn’t bother me. (I’m more of an action seeker, generally.) Although th
Oct 12, 2010 Lauren rated it liked it
Easy read.... I liked the author's writing style- I felt like I could picture almost each lady in the Pickle club- I enjoy reading about other time periods too and I always come away thinking.... "I never could have lived during ..... i.e. Dust Bowl, Great Depression, in the case of this book.
Feb 19, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kate by: Beth
I struggled with the character development. I kept asking myself, "Now, who is this person?"
If you find the beginning a bit slow, keep going until you get to the murder mystery. Then things get entertaining!
Dec 20, 2010 Claire rated it liked it
I thought this was a cute story about ladies who were in a quilting club in the 1930's.

I did enjoy reading a book based in a different time and culture (Kansas farmers). It's always interesting to see how "far" we've come since then. There are things like buttermilk that I'm glad aren't the norm anymore, but then things like affairs and unwed mothers are totally acceptable now. So, yes, it's kinda fun to read and imagine what it would be like to have lived then.

I thought the characters and even
I made it over halfway through this book before throwing in the towel. I believe the book club picked this one because it was on some list of books with strong female characters, and for the life of me I can't figure out why. Maybe some of the peripheral characters are OK, but the narrator is a completely flat character, and her new best friend is as obnoxious as hell. But that is only one of the problems I have with this book.

The first thing that socked me in this face about this book is that i
Love, love this book! I have rarely seen characters so flawed, true and dang funny. Especially Queenie, the MC, who I found myself identifying with in a heartfelt way. Her insecurities felt like my insecurities--the way she longed for and loved her friends, the way she baked and visited to solve problems, and even her marriage.

Queenie is a member of the Persian Pickle club--a quilting club of ladies in rural Kansas I think around the 1930s. The group is composed of opinionated, diverse personali
Mar 21, 2012 Marleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: sandra-dallas
Sandra Dallas writes stories that totally enchant me. The Persian Pickle Club is her 2nd book, and I intend to read her books in order - although they’re all stand-alones - and there’s no need to read them chronologically, I want to get into this author’s mind (and heart) in order to see what direction she’s taking me with her wonderful books. The fact is, I’ve just discovered Sandra Dallas and I’m totally charmed by her talent. The story-telling is simply excellent and so far I love the small c ...more
Jan 10, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
I have to say that this book didn't really do anything for me. It's supposed to be light hearted and a story about friendship, which I guess it is. But it just wasn't interesting to me.

In the 1930's in Kansas, a group of women get together for a quilting and literature club every week. They call themselves the Persian Pickles (named after a paisley print) and in the depression its a good way to add some fun to their life. But then, the body of one of their member's husband is found. The newest m
Feb 25, 2012 Sariah rated it really liked it
We read this for book club this month, and I think it's going to be a really fun discussion! It was a super quick read (only took me a day), but the story is so strong and the writing is so clear... it was enjoyable throughout. I loved each character and could really see them in my mind. Of course the main character, Queenie, had such a great voice, it was hard to put the book down once I started it. There's a twist and surprise around every corner. Definitely worth reading.
Julie Fischer
Jun 09, 2013 Julie Fischer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have written this review two different times only to have them erased by accident. Normally I would give up writing a review, but this book was special and I want to share my feelings about it. Stories are told in different ways. Many stories have been handed down through generations by narrating the story, other stories were written down, and still others were told by piecing together a quilt made from wore out clothing the family had worn or special pieces given to the quilter by a friend. T ...more
Erica T
This book was picked for book club, and I actually had no idea what it was about when I started it. I didn't really know what to expect with a name like Persian Pickle.

Overall, it was a fun read and a pretty quick read. It tells of a group of women in the Depression-Era who get together to quilt but also support each other through life's ups and downs. It eventually becomes a "mystery" which I didn't expect. I loved that the group was so diverse and showed that women of all ages/situations need
Susan Ferguson
May 31, 2014 Susan Ferguson rated it really liked it
Very entertaining and human. The Persian Pickle Club is a quilting/sewing club in Kansas during the great drought. The members are almost all farm wives, struggling through with not very much. There is a party line, but not everyone is on it and just a few have cars. Queenie Bean is one of those fortunate enough to have a car. Her husband Grover, fixes most of the machinery on the farm and she has a pump in her kitchen, so she has water in the house and doesn't have to go to the well to draw it. ...more
Jun 22, 2015 ☮Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I put off reading this for a long time, only because of the silly title. But it is a short one from a favorite author, Sandra Dallas, so I thought I would squeeze it in as a quick summer read.

This book was a little gem. Friendships, family, murder in a close-knit, struggling farming community, a little romance, loyalty, and did I mention it is short? The quilting stories were my favorites, and some tugged at my emotions.
helen the bookowl
Jul 13, 2015 helen the bookowl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a sweet and great book that took a turn I didn't see coming. First of all, Sandra Dallas did an impeccable job of setting the mood. This takes place in the USA in the 1930s, it is hot, the crops are destroyed because of the heat and people try to survive on small jobs and kindness to each other. The Persian Pickle Job is our focal point of interest and we are rather quickly introduced to all of the women in this quilting club.
However, our main focus is Queenie and Rita who are the
Jan 23, 2016 Diane rated it it was ok
This book was recommended to me awhile ago and I happened to see it at the library, so I picked it up. I thought the cover was very hokey, but I tried to overlook it. The description sounded interesting and I expected a Steel Magnolias kind of women's group that had strong characters in a close knit circle. That is not how I felt about this book at all. The group is so large that most of the time I had no idea who was who except for the few main ones. And even the prominent characters were not v ...more
Nov 13, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it
I just recently read this book again and it was like visiting an old friend. I love the development of Queenie, and through her eyes, the development of her friends in The Persian Pickle Club. This book is about friendship, loyalty, longing, and a bit of mystery, set in the Depression era. There's a twist to the story that makes you keep reading. It's an easy and very enjoyable read. It is totally appropriate for moms to recommend to their teen-aged daughters to read as well.
Missy Morris
Mar 04, 2016 Missy Morris rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Cataldi
May 17, 2016 Erin Cataldi rated it really liked it
Shelves: stout-stories, 2016
I didn't think I would be able to relate to a novel about quilting but there was so much more to the story than that. Set amidst the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression Queenie and the members of the Persian Pickle Club pass the time helping each other and their community by quilting blankets to raise money for charity. When Rita marries a local boy and becomes part of their "quilting circle" she brings a youthful brashness that keeps everyone on their toys. She's load and brash but Queenie takes ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I really wanted to like this book. I was born and raised in Iowa, which is just a hoot and a holler from Kansas, and I'm a selftaught quilter, so I thought, what's not to love?

Unfortunately, it just didn't work for me, not really. So much so, that I put it down for long enough that it took me a minute to remember who all those people were. (Lotsa characters, norra lorra character development.) In the first place, a lot of the language is out of place for Midwesterners, at least in our area, even
In the kicked up dust of a rural 1930's Harveyville, Kansas, times are hard and, as Queenie Bean is keenly aware, real friendship is all the more important because of it. Luckily, Queenie is a member of The Persian Pickle Club, a group of women that meet weekly to share gossip, refreshments, fabric scraps, stitches, and friendship. Faced with the stark beauty and peril of dry Kansas crops, the friendships of this group are a lifeline to the women of The Persian Pickle; they're there for each oth ...more
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Award-winning author SANDRA DALLAS was dubbed “a quintessential American voice” by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. Sandra’s novels with their themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and have been optioned for films.

A journalism graduate of the University of Denver, Sandra began her writing career as a reporter with Business Week. A staff
More about Sandra Dallas...

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