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The Persian Pickle Club
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The Persian Pickle Club

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  10,767 ratings  ·  1,578 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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The Help by Kathryn StockettWater for Elephants by Sara GruenThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane SetterfieldThe Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
Book Club List
96th out of 419 books — 661 voters
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls WilderThe Persian Pickle Club by Sandra DallasThe Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer ChiaveriniThe Runaway Quilt by Jennifer ChiaveriniThe Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini
Quilt on the Cover
2nd out of 141 books — 22 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jim Butler
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
Scribs
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
...more
Latharia
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!
Mindy
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.
Nancy
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
Julie Fischer
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
Kathryn
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!
Kate
Feb 19, 2014 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
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!
Julianne
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.

It's
...more
Claire
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
...more
Gigi
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
Rebecca
i loved the setting of this book...kansas, dust bowl, 30's depression era, group of women in a quilting group. putting hot flour on a newborn baby? I'd never heard of that. i even laughed out loud at some of the country living similes/talk- "she was more fun than a shoebox full of kittens." or "if fibs were so bad, I ought to tell Nettie that the goiter on her neck made her look like a frog." I can see that there was an underlying message of friendship and loyalty (which I am usually drawn to th ...more
Susan Ferguson
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
Sariah
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.
Jen
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!!
Melissa
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
...more
Marleen
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
Amy
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
...more
Teresa
This is the third Sandra Dallas novel that I have read. I previously read The Chili Queen and Tallgrass. Impressed with her work I picked up several more novels, including this one. I was not disappointed. The Persian Pickle Club follows a diverse group of ladies in Harveyville, Kansas who get together once a week to quilt. I was immediately immersed in the story. I enjoy quilting, but haven't experienced a quilting group like this. For those of you who are not familiar (which I wasn't) Persian ...more
Erica Thompson
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
...more
Karen
This book was a wonderful, unexpected surprise. It started a little slow, but soon I fell in love with Queenie, a Depression era farm wife who loves to quilt. The relationship between the women in the club was a beautiful representation of female friendships. The story follows the coming of Rita, a big city woman who is trying to be a reporter, to the town and the disappearance of Ella's husband.
Julie
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
...more
Tonya
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
Frances Johnson
This book is outside my usual genre for reading but I'm glad that I read it. It was pleasant. It was a murder mystery about a group of women during the depression who get together to quilt. It's really about friendship and the ties between these depression-era women. Good book.
Donna
I must say that I can identify with the character of Queenie. She says she talks nonstop when she's nervous. Well, I do that even when I'm not nervous. The story was set in Kansas in the era of the Depression. It's not just a typical dustbowl saga. This plot involves an aspiring newspaper writer and a great murder mystery among the farmers in a small town. When Hiawatha finds human bones, Rita is determined to find out who killed the man so she can write about it in the newspaper and get a job s ...more
Terri
I've had this book on my "to read" shelf for a VERY long time. It was a good look at depression era life and how rural women coped. In this case, the group survived by a strong bond forged during quilting. As I read, I looked up on google the name of every quilt. One thing I really enjoyed was how each character was unique and how often the women didn't get along or agree with each other and yet were strongly bonded. Women need connections with other women. In every group, there are always a few ...more
Julia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth A.
This book started out pretty slow. I wasn't sure I was going to like it; but it was for an IRL book club, so I pushed through. When it finally got interesting, I couldn't put it down.

This was a great discussion book. It's hard to explain without spoiling, but there were some really interesting events and themes to discuss. My reaction to one event really surprised me. Because of circumstances, I found myself identifying with -and almost approving of- an action I would normally abhor.

I really enj
...more
Joan
I'm still thinking about it. do women really go to these extremes to support one another? Or was the author talking about the collective guilt women take upon themselves for the misbehavior of the men in their lives?
It was well written and I enjoyed the character's development. I was surprised the direction the book took having never read the author before. I especially liked the setting of the dust bowl era and a story about those who didn't go to California and I liked that the farmers and th
...more
Cheryl
Jan 20, 2012 Cheryl rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cheryl by: Amy
Light, with a lot of contrivances that added up to implausibility. For example, Grover was so perfectly wise, except for that one critical time near the end when he had a heart-to-heart with the Massies. And I can't stand the idea that it's ok for women to feel ashamed when assaulted. Embarrassed, maybe, but it was *not her fault* and she had *nothing* to be ashamed about.

Not as good, as rich, as careful, as authentic, at least according to my memory, as the Fried Green Tomatoes it's usually com
...more
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prs 5 15 Jun 05, 2014 09:01PM  
Bookworm Bitches : November 2011: The Persian Pickle Club 49 160 Dec 17, 2012 02:59PM  
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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
More about Sandra Dallas...
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