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Alice's Tulips

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,588 ratings  ·  313 reviews
Alice Bullock is a young newlywed whose husband, Charlie, has just joined the Union Army, leaving her on his Iowa farm with only his formidable mother for company. Equally talented at sewing and gossip, and not overly fond of hard work, Alice writes lively letters to her sister filled with accounts of local quilting bees, the rigors of farm life, and the customs of small-t
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 16th 2000 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anna
This is one of my favorite books. Set during the American civil war, it's about the relationship between a young war bride and her mother-in-law, and a coming of age story. Told through letters sent to her sister, mother, and new husband, we see the evolution of a young girl into a young woman.I devoured this book & loved the history of quilts!
Kayla Turner
Jan 13, 2011 Kayla Turner rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Kayla by: My 11th grade history teacher
This book is the most god-awful abomination on the face of the earth, next to the Twilight series. I had to read it for a history project and I was appalled. The main character Alice is a Mary-Sue. She's 100% perfect and possesses no flaws whatsoever. All the men in the town want her for themselves while her husband is at war and Alice does nothing to stop their advances. The book has no plot, even though the summary suggests otherwise. The whole "murder" theme doesn't even become apparant until ...more
Sarah
Mar 07, 2009 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Eunice from my knitting club
I forgot I had this book. Now I remember why I do. I enjoy the growth and self-realization of the heroine. I like the story-telling device (her letters to her sister) and that with only a few lines we get almost a full picture of her sister's story as well. It's earthy, but I like a bit of frankness. It does remind me that for as much as we lament "society" today, I would much rather be living right when and where I am.
Carole Roman
This is a great story! The character's are so real, they stay with you long after you close the book. The lost art of letter writing was how people communicated in the past. This book is a peephole into the life a young girl and we watch her grow up as war erases her youth and callowness. Realistic character, foibles and all both lovable and unforgettable. The irony in the ending is alone, worth the read.
Keilani Ludlow
I liked Persian Pickle Club more, I liked Buster's Midnight Cafe less. I usually don't give a summary because you can read that everywhere, but I have to give a bit of one to explain what I see. The main character, Alice, is left with her cranky mother-in-law on a farm near the middle of nowhere when her husband joins up to fight for the Union. She has been married about a year and when she married him, he worked in a store. She specifically did not marry a farmer, having been raised on a farm a ...more
Charlene Intriago
Alice Bullock is a young old newlywed whose husband Charlie has joined the Union Army. Alice is living with her mother-in-law on the family farm in Iowa and this book tells her story (and the story of all the characters) through letters from Alice to her sister Lizzie. Life was hard on a farm in 1862, really hard for Alice because she was not exactly the choice Mother Bullock would have made for her son, and even harder for her son as a soldier during the Civil War. This book was recommended to ...more
Laura
I really liked this book. It's a nice, quiet little read with likable characters for whom you hope against hope things will turn out well. I liked that it was composed entirely of letters written from Alice to her sister. Alice's voice was enjoyable and she interjected subtle humor into much of her writing. She reminded me somewhat of Scarlet O'Hara in the way that she matured over the course of the book. Having read The Diary of Mattie Spenser, I appreciated the references to characters from th ...more
Marti

Alice's Tulips is another fine Sandra Dallas book. The plot is simplistic: women on their own, trying to farm and survive during the war between the states. Both there is nothing simplistic about the hardships that Alice and her mother-in-law faced. The two plucky women made their way and found room for others. Yet again, Sandra Dallas has intertwined information and a love of quilting as an integral part of the story. I was again struck by the honest, open view Sandra gives of small town life,
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Kylee Peterson
Alice is a mere 18 years old when she marries Charlie, who soon leaves to fight in for the Union in the Civil War. Immature and stubborn Alice is left to live with her brand new mother in law, Mother Bullock, where they must learn to work together and Alice must learn to grow up. In a series of letters to her sister Lizzie, the details of Alice’s new life are disclosed: her hardships, flirtations, quilting, and relationship with Charlie’s mother are all analyzed as they evolve through the space ...more
 Olivermagnus
When her husband enlists as a Union soldier, teenage newlywed Alice Bullock must live on his family's Bramble Farm on the outskirts of Slatyfork, Iowa, with only her stern mother-in-law for company. The story is told through Alice’s letters to her sister over two and a half years, and are filled with accounts of quilting bees, the hardness of farm life, and small town customs. In her long, gossipy letters to Lizzie we experience Alice's life on the run-down farm. As the story unfolds, secrets an ...more
Beth
Mar 04, 2009 Beth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women
This is one of my favourite books. Set during the American civil war, it's about the relationship between a young war bride and her mother-in-law, and a coming of age story. Told through letters sent to her sister, mother, and new husband, we see the evolution of a young girl into a young woman. It is wonderfully sculpted and beautifully told, with a very distinct voice. I loved this book, and often buy it to give to girlfriends for birthdays or other occasions.
Julene
Fun read. Set during the Civil War and written as a series of letters to protagonists sister. Has a bit of suspense to make it fun. I liked the progression of the main character who I didn't love during the beginning of the book. I have my doubts about whether some of the slightly scandalous topics in her letters where commonly discussed during that time and would not let my daughter read this until she was in high school or older.
Kathryn
The history told in this book about the Civil War era was fascintating. Sandra Dallas is awesome in touching every detail about the era she writes about. Alice was a wonderful character full of flaws, dreams, duty, and love of her husband. I thought the story was a bit slow but the last 20-30 pages brought the entire story line together and completed all the loose ends. I would definitely recommend it.
Kelsey Burnette
Such a charming little book. My Civil War theme continues. Alice narrates her story through letters to her sister and lots of great quilts. Lots of great female characters, and a little murder mystery thrown in for good measure.
April
Alice's letters to her sister while her husband Charlie is away to fight for the Union in the Civil war. I love the interactions between Alice and Charlie's mother and couldn't put down the book until Charlie came home.
Anne Steel
Loved the historical aspect of this book. I didn't think I would like the Letters to Lizzie format, but I devoured this book. Loved the history of quilts,
Barbara Vinocur
I like stories taking place during the Civil War. This one is about young, newly married Alice and her letters about her life with her husband off fighting. I enjoyed it.
Erica Stephens
May 04, 2015 Erica Stephens is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A very slow beginning and middle. I enjoy the format of letter writing but it's been mostly the story of a self-centered teenager (married woman of the 1800s) who has to move to her husband's farm while he is off serving in the Civil War. She grows up quite a bit in the two years he is gone which has been interesting enough to keep me going but it has been slow going. A third of the book left and something is finally happening. Because of my growing interest at this point I'm not sure if it's wo ...more
Jackie
Loved this book, I have never read a book about the civil war based on a northern perspective. This was well written.
Melissa Jordan
I have read this book at least 3 times. Truly enjoyed this book.
Camille
I would say maybe even 3.5 stars. I have liked other books by Sandra Dallas better than this one--although I couldn't put it down. I think it's because I like Dallas' other books so much that I was hopeful that it would get better--and it did. As in the Persian Pickle Club, there are many quilting references. Even for a non-quilter--I really liked that.

The book is written in first person by Alice, and it is all written in the style of letters to her sister. I really enjoy that style of writing.
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Rachel
Story of the young wife of a civil war soldier that is written in the form of letters to her sister. I really liked it at first (thus 2 stars rather than 1). I loved the language and the naivety of the heroine as she has to get along with her mother-in-law and the townspeople after husband leaves to fight.

But the voice of the story changed as it progressed. It became more mundane and the heroine's behavior became annoying. Then towards the end there is a plot event that changes the story entirel
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Kim Overstreet
I have read almost all of Sandra Dallas' novels and often find myself reaching for one on a rainy day or when I am sick and want something easy to read, cozy, and riveting all at the same time. Alice's Tulips, a novel told through a series of letters, is the story of Alice, a young bride left on a farm with her stern mother-in-law when her husband joins the Union Army during the Civil War. Alice is spunky, funny, and quite likable. Through her letters, Dallas captures many of the hardships women ...more
Erika
Feb 22, 2015 Erika rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Erika by: My history teacher
This book is about a newlywed named Alice, she lives with her husband's mother on Bramble Farm during the Civil war era. During the story she is accused of murder and is shunned from society in the town of Slatyfork. The entire book is letters to her sister.
When I first read what this book was about I thought this might be good. I thought there would be more action with the murder but I was wrong. I even tried to like Alice but that was nearly impossible. She was a terrible person. She told her
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Lacey
I feel like I should give this book a higher rating to spite the people who gave it low ratings because they're convinced that no one spoke or, thought of, or even had sex before the 1960s. And the people who think that saying a girl's skirt was pushed up and her legs spread constitutes a "horrifically graphic rape scene." Please, Jack Weyland writes more graphically than that.

But frankly speaking, the book is just bland. Descriptions of the serial rapist's actions and the justice delivered to h
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Audrey
This is a wonderful story written in the form of letters sent from Alice to her sister. The book takes place during the civil war and starts with a newly wed Alice saying good-bye to her husband Charley as he heads to war, fighting on the side of the North.

She is left at home on the small family farm, with just her and her mother-in-law.

Through her letters to her sister we see how Alice grows and changes from an immature, vain little flirt, to a stronger and wiser young woman.

There is more viole
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Ashley Van Albert
Personally, I did not really like this book. I thought it was rather boring, and there was not much of a plot. I felt it was an easy read, but I kept putting the book down because it could not keep my attention. Once the murder took place, the book became somewhat interesting, but still not interesting enough for it to be a good book. I do not recommend reading this book if you like action packed books because this book is slow paced and not much happens.
Susan
This is the second novel I have ready by Sandra Dallas. She writes in an usual style, usually first person woman. It is written in early American slang so once you get the rhythm of the language the stories are very funny and you can hear them speaking. This novel takes place in Civil war and pioneer Iowa and features quilting as its uniting theme. By the title you would think it was about gardening but it is definitely a quilting novel. Quilting unites women in a way that shows the support of f ...more
Nancy
Alice is a silly young wife when the book begins. Her husband has gone off to fight in the Civil War for the North. Alice tells her husband to come back with both legs, because she loves to dance. Alice attends a dance in town, and becomes a target of gossip. The towns people are not accepting of her. She feels her mother-in-law is a mean old woman. Alice and her mother-in-law learn to appreciate each other. Alice grows in maturity and responsibility. She takes on the care of a poor woman and he ...more
Melinda
Although I have enjoyed the other books that I have read by Sandra Dallas, this one seemed lackluster in comparison. I struggled with the inconsistencies in Alice's character; as some points, she appeared too modern for a Civil War soldier's wife. I was equally bothered by Alice's almost perfect grammar, aside from a few out of place what appeared to be forced errors in speech - this did not fit with her character to me. I think that the idea of telling the story through the medium of Alice's le ...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
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More about Sandra Dallas...
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