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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  3,412 ratings  ·  613 reviews
Recently orphaned, eleven-year-old Cathy Benson feels she has been dropped into a cultural and intellectual wasteland when she is forced to move from her academically privileged life in California to the small town of Kersey in the Texas Panhandle where the sport of football reigns supreme. She is quickly taken under the unlikely wings of up-and-coming gridiron stars and c...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2012)
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I loved Roses - loved. I mean, it wasn't amazing literature or mind blowing prose, but it was a good story, it was interesting, I felt invested in the characters, I loved the descriptions and the characters and I really "felt" that book, if that makes sense. It was "soapy" and "sudsy" to quote other reviewers - but it was juicy and good. I do enjoy a good epic saga. So I was super crazy looking forward to this book. My sister in law also loved Roses and we've both been anticipating Tumbleweeds w...more
Tumbleweeds was a 4 star for me up until page 399, like another reviewer here I felt the story was ruined for me at that moment.

Cathy, John, and Trey, all orphans, find a wonderful kind of friendship in their early years and it blooms as they grow into young adulthood. Cathy is refined, cultured, and smart. John is kind, conscientious, and honest. Trey is devious, unfaithful, and charming. Is it any surprise Cathy chooses to date Trey? It should be but in fiction the good girls always choose the...more
Ricki Jill Treleaven
The Texas panhandle breeds a bunch of us long, tall drink-of-water look-alikes. We're as common as tumbleweeds.
~T.D. Hall from Tumbleweeds

This week I read devoured Tumbleweeds by Leila Meacham. I could not put it down, which was a bad thing because I've had TONS to do this week. Last week I posted about Meacham's other novel, Roses. As much as I loved Roses, I think I liked Tumbleweeds a wee bit better.

Tumbleweeds is like a cross between Friday Night Lights and The Thorn Birds. :D This is a very...more
Author: Leila Meacham
Published By: Hachette Book Group
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewer: Arlena Dean
Rating: 5
Blog For: GMTA


"Tumbleweeds" by Leila Meacham was some interesting read. In Kersey, this story takes place in the Panhandle...with the story being told in third person. These three orphans (Catherine Ann Benson and Trey Don Hall)and a abandoned child (John Caldwell),lead a very interesting life. I found this novel rather long but still fast enough to stay interesting for me. Be ready...more
It's a good summer read, but that's about all it has going for it. The novel involves three people: TD, the high school golden boy quaterback; John, his WR and best friend; and Cathy, the woman they both love. Over time they separate but their lives continue to be intertwined.
My biggest problem with the book stemmed from the John becoming a priest plotline. The author says that she's not Catholic so she had to do research here, but it seemed to me like she was into the "Hollywood" Catholic stuff...more
I fully expected to spend the weekend to be absorbed in Tumbleweeds. I enjoyed Roses in all of its melodramatic glory. I opened the book to the painted bluebonnets inside the front cover and started to settle in. I got page 87, read: "the ocean had surged to the shore and the sand and sea became one...", and snorted a little. Then I got to the chapter with the mascot of the opposing football team and said really?! At that point I decided I did not want to invest in the remaining 338 pages and pu...more
JoAnne Pulcino

Leila Meacham

Having long been a huge fan of epic sagas Ms. Meacham led me to believe she was going to single handedly revive the genre. That may have been too much to ask of any author. Her first book, ROSES led me down that primrose path as I loved the book.

That is not the case with TUMBLEWEEDS. The book becomes overly melodramatic, terribly detail oriented with predictable, wooden characters and plot.

Recently orphaned eleven year old, Cathy Benson who had lived a life of plenty is...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was such a waste of time. Happily, I listened to it while driving to and from work, so I wasn't really wasting my time. It was just so melodramatic and stung out. I can only go by disc numbers; it was 13. It could easily have been about eight. Beautiful, popular, and rather bland people keeping secrets from each other and never forgiving one another, capped with a silly twist at the end that didn't do any of the characters a bit of justice.

But I will give it this: Cathy was no annoying...more
Jackie Lane
I am a little perplexed with how to rate this book. There were parts I really enjoyed, parts that were drawn out and parts that I think could have played out differently.

This is the story of three kids, all orphaned in one way or the other. Trey Don Hall, John Caldwell and Cathrine Ann Benson who grow up in the town of Kersey, Texas. The story chronicles their lives and all the ups and downs they share. The three are inseperable until a problem arises and then the book just takes an unexpected t...more
SPOILER ALERT: This previous review says exactly how I feel after reading this book: "I really enjoyed reading the beginning and middle...but when it got to the point where the close-knit threesome started to unravel...I felt as though the author tried to incorporate almost too much drama into the story. It wasn't a bad story, but I didnt feel fulfilled when I finished it. The murder of Trey was completely made things feel unresolved between Trey and Catherine Ann. I wished the...more
Rio (Lynne)
3.75 Stars

I loved Roses, the author's first book, so I was excited to dive into this story. This had the same get lost in the characters feel about it. Cathy, who was orphaned at age 12 had to leave California to live with her grandmother in a small town in Texas. She quickly takes up with Trey and John and a lifelong love triangle saga begins.
I thoroughly enjoyed this saga until page 399. What was the author thinking? A last minute thrown in...totally out of place...mystery? I don't want to sp...more
Yuck. I was in the mood for an epic melodrama. The melodrama was there and the plot had potential, but the characters were too unbelievable and the dialogue so awful. The writing seemed very juvenile. Worst book I've read in a while!
When I started this book, I had high hopes. I found the middle of the book to be very predictable and then the last quarter of the book bordered on ridiculous. The storyline is just a mess. Save yourself some time and skip this one.
DRA-MA! First of all, if you want something that will keep you reading, this is a good one. I finished it in just 5 days which is really saying something about how hard it is to put down!

That said, I should have been more ready for how frustrating this book would be. I read her first book, "Roses," and was insanely frustrated by the basis of the entire plot being basically that small decisions really can ruin the rest of not only your own life, but pretty much everyone else you associate with's...more
Accessible and engrossing, Tumbleweeds tells a love triangle of sorts involving Cathy, John and Trey. Each of them are standouts in their own right - good looking, athletic, smart, and wildly popular. John and Trey had been best friends and leaders even as children. When Cathy moved to Kersey, they took her into their group and forged a special bond that stretched and held through high school and the complicated ups and downs of teenage love.

John and Trey are football stars in high school. Cath...more
The intrepid Kensey trio throught their lives, loves and saddness. Ms Meacham takes us on a journey through a third person view of three orphans (two orphans and an abandoned child) in the Panhandle. I liked it, sure it is a soap opera and probably would be great fare for the Lifetime or CW networks, but it was a guilty pleasure to excape into a summer novel.
I have never read Leila Meacham's first novel "Roses" and I probably will not. One confectionary tale is enough for me and I will admit tha...more
"Old sins that time cannot disperse." Ah, that's the story of "Tumbleweeds." Cathy, John, and Trey Don are three ships that pass in the night. Bonded by their orphan status, the three become fast friends in childhood, and their adult lives tumble from one crisis to another as each barely misses another opportunity for happiness and instead is forced to continue to claw up the ladder. Years and generations pass, and the three lives circle around and miss each other again. Still, their lives escap...more
I adored the author's previous work, Roses. So much so that I snatched this up as soon as I saw it sitting at my local bookstore.

And it was ...fine. I felt that some segments were rushed and others were overly drawn out. I would have preferred a stronger focus on the high school years and the 22 years later hinted at in the prologue, with less focus on the inbetween years.

I loved Roses for the soapy drama but despite murder, deceptions and a love triangle, this book was not nearly as intense as...more
SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT -- It was definitely hard to put down once I got to a certain point. There are some dragging parts and they keep jumping years. I love happy endings, but this book didn't satisfy the ending I wanted. It was still a good read, but I want the perfect happy ending of John and Cathy ending up together. It was lame to let him become a priest. I feel frustrated after reading it because you are left with the ultimate life question of "What if" and you just want to yell at them at s...more
Three orphans are drawn together during their high school years and promise to be there for each other forever, but they struggle with communication and decision making which causes a major rift in their close knit circle. Although I did find this book to be a page turner and couldn't wait to put all of the pieces together, I was frustrated by how the characters kept making the same mistakes over and over again - not being honest, making bad decisions, etc. and it got kind of tiring. A definite...more
I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't read any of Meacham's books anymore since they frustrate the crap out of me. So many lives could've taken better paths if it hadn't been for the jilted pride of one man. Then to add in the murder mystery right at the very end...huh...why do that?

The kicker was the ending. I'm listening in my car and then that's it! I was waiting, no way, there's got to be more than that! It's like the author got tired of writing the book and said, oh screw it that's good enough.
This was a delicious story - full of love and hate in a small Texas town. The author made the characters come alive - so much that I could barely put it down. I liked it much better than her previous book, Roses. The characters of the three children who grow up together were well defined. I could visualize them in my head. The plot, while slightly soap opera"ish", kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time. Highly recommended.
If you are a reader, you probably can't stop reading when you near the end of a novel. You need to know what happens to characters you have come to love that you often sacrifice household chores or sleep to finish your book. Know what I mean? Well, this book is not like that. I didn't want to finish it quickly. I knew the ending would be awful so I just didn't want it to happen.

I did enjoy the thought provoking storyline. Is the value of your life based on one action of your past? Can a life of...more

Leila Meacham has the drama laden novel down. Once again she writes an amazing story of love, friendship, betrayal, secrets, murder and religion! You won't be able to put Tumbleweeds down until the final word. And you'll never know which character has the last word! I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys an epic saga!
Took several chapters to really get into it, although it is a very interesting and good story.
Good quote from page 267 " the long run a person becomes who and what he is because of himself, not his parentage." And so true.
Second book I've read by Leila Meacham and can't wait to start reading Somerset.
This was a very good book. I lived the depth of all of the characters. There were many times that I thought the book was too predictable, but I ended up finding that I was wrong each and every time. The book kept twisting and turning....until its bittersweet end. Great summer read!
Ellen Hopkins
Ambitious story, and would have been fascinating but passive storytelling bogged it down. The author kept reminding readers of facts presented long before, as if we couldn't possibly remember them. Still, I had to read to end to find out the big reveal.
Lee Ann
I loved this book, a little romance, some betrayal and redemption and a murder all in a small Texas town. The characters were people I wanted to care about and root for and liked the way the story took me along. I was a little sad to have this one end.
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Leila Meacham is a writer and former teacher who lives in San Antonio, Texas.
More about Leila Meacham...
Roses Somerset Regreso a Kersey Ryan's Hand Aly's House

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“Don't be afraid to let it go. Releasing hate does not make you forget what you want always to remember. It does not mean reconciliation.” 12 likes
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