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Delta Girls: A Novel
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Delta Girls: A Novel

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  161 ratings  ·  30 reviews
The disparate lives of two women—a single mother working hard to make ends meet and a young figure skater at the top of her game—entwine in an unforgettable novel of warmth, depth, and wisdom.

Izzy and her daughter, Quinn, have been on the move for all of Quinn’s nine years. Izzy works the fields as a fruit picker, following the produce north and south through the growing s
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Laura Often
Eh - I liked Izzy's story way more than Karen's story - thought it was a waste of time and didn't enjoy that part of the book at all. I didn want to learn more about Izzy and Quinn and Abcde - felt like a lot of parts were left out.
Izzy and Quinn are on the run, leading a simple life following the crops, moving from place to place as migrant workers, temporarily settled in the Sacramento Delta picking pears. Karen and Nathan lead public lives, in the national spotlight as champion figure skaters, ever striving to become better and gain more recognition in their sport. The doubled storyline is a little confusing at first,
but eventually it becomes clear that the two stories are intertwined.

The whole time that I was reading
I would have like to have given this book 3.5 stars. I enjoyed it, it was a good story and quick read.
Wonderful wording and beautiful phrasing, but the two main characters just didn't jump off the page for me. (I'll try to phrase this without ruining the ending for anyone.) I like strong female leads, but these two just didn't seem to have the gumption to do what they were doing/did. And I certainly don't think that Karen's "solution" in her final chapter would have fooled anyone, especially not any decent law enforcement officer who would have known to follow the money trail. I did enjoy Abcde, ...more
Brandeis provides background and local color that draws in the reader with its rich detail, while her characters are drawn with clean,spare strokes. The contrast between the two adds weight to the actions the characters take. Actions are spare, in contrast to their rich surroundings, yet they are emphasized by the clarity of the presentation. Brandeis switches between scenes in the present set in the Delta country of California that take place on a pear farm where a migrant picker and her nine y ...more
After a bunch of autobios, as well as random novels, I hadn't read a "real" fiction novel in a while and this one was pretty good! It intertwined two peoples lives and for most of the story, you are like, how are these even going to come together, they are so different? It wasn't until like halfway through that I figured it out and of course, it all wrapped up at the end. Since I kind of enjoyed this book, I am not going to mention the "twist", but let me know if you want to know.

Story one is ab
Delta Girls is told in the alternating voices of Izzy and Karen. Izzy, nomadic seasonal fruit-picker arrives in the California Delta with her daughter in tow while Karen is an up-and-coming pairs figure skater. I picked up the novel for a couple of reasons. I am both familiar with the locale, being not too far from where I went to college and I also know a thing or two about figure skating. Izzy and Karen's stories converge in a twist, but most likely the reader will see it coming. I found the t ...more
First up, it's not the fault of this book that every time I saw the cover, the lyrics of "Delta Dawn" would run through my head. But since that's what happened, I secretly hold it against this book. Plus I figured out what the book was about in about four chapters and then I was not so secretly bored. I mean, it was interesting enough (what's that flower you've got on?), but I'm not the queen of figuring out foreshadowing, so when I can figure it out (could it be a faded rose from days gone by?) ...more
This is the first novel I have read by Gayle Brandeis. I would rate the first two-thirds of the book as three stars and the last third as four stars. I enjoyed the plot twist as it unfolded in the last 75 pages.
Each chapter alternates between the story of two women. One is a mother with a 9y/o daughter she homeschools as they live a nomadic life as a farm picker. The other is about a 17/18 y/o ice-skater whose life is controlled by her mother and then her crazy pair partner.
The characters seemed immature to me. The topography was interesting - the Delta in California. I wouldn't say the book was a waste of time, but I admit to skimming over parts to get to more substance and hurry the book along. I wa
Quick read - short chapters that are nice when trying to just get a little reading in before falling asleep. Interesting story and characters and setting, but something about it was just a bit boring.
The story of Karen and Nathan started out very good, but once the story reached her 18th birthday, it went down hill from there. Nathan changed, and Karen went along with it, never saying anything. It seemed the author was trying to create a male Tonya Harding, but crazier, and she succeeded. It was a bit too much. The way the plot unfolded was certainly unexpected, but again, it was too far out there. The way their story ends just plain sucked. I wish the story could have ended as well as it ha ...more
Mar 14, 2011 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jennifer by: Sarah
This novel is told in alternating chapters about two different characters - Izzy, a single mom who basically works as a migrant fruit picker, ending up on a pear farm in a river vally in California, and Karen, a teenage ice skater with an overbearing show mom and a pairs partner she swoons for but is a creep. I find Izzy's story much more interesting than Karen's, and I figured out the twist pretty early on. But it was an enjoyable story that kept me reading.
May 13, 2013 Emma rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
This literally is a tale of two emotions for me... I loved the Izzie storyline, it was evocative, juicy and vivid to me and could have stood alone.

Karen's story was to my mind hackneyed, and whilst the comparison was necessary for the narrative, I found that stylistically the book did not flow and Karen was less sympathetic due to this.. to truly succeed both characters needed to be equally likeable!
There are two alternating stories in the book- I liked Izzy's much more than Karen's. Karen's felt like someone told the author to add as much sex or sexual references as possible because 'that's what sells'. And it wasnt even good sex! :) The best part of the book was its setting- I love Northern California and loved knowing where they were.
This was a nice story, but occasionally some of the writing felt a touch too much like a romance novel. The tie between the two women was easy to figure out, which was fine, because I really enjoyed that part of the story. Overall, it was good, but it didn't quite meet it's potential for me.
Laura K
I liked this book. The chapters alternate between two characters in this book, like two separate stories-- IZZY and KAREN. Once I had the "aha" moment, I started to enjoy the story even more. I loved the descriptions of the Delta, probably more so since I am a native Californian. Good read.
Camille H
I enjoyed the Sac Delta (Locke, Isleton, etc) references in the book but wasn't that enthused about anything else. This might be more interesting for young adult readers (although there are some sexy parts) - especially those who live in Northern California.
I liked this book. Easy read. I knew the twist going into it though as I read the book club discussion questions first. So be warned - if you don't want to know the twist going into it, don't read the discussion questions first!
A lot of places mentioned in this book are from my childhood, so it was quite endearing. To my knowledge, the main town mentioned (starts with a "c"... can't recall right now) doesn't exist.

I just couldn't get into this book. I felt like there were too many ideas trying to come together in this book (ice skating, whales, fruit) I just couldn't keep it all straight....
This book was really good - I liked it a lot. It took until almost to halfway to figure out what was going on. It was a really original way to write a book and I liked the setting a lot.
I loved this book. I loved the different definitions of Delta-the way the characters are revealed, the back-story. I will be looking for other books by this author!
Vicki Jaeger
It was a good read, nice story. I struggled a little with the end, as there seemed to be some unfinished business with the old boyfriend.
Delicious...the writing was ripe and juicy in its descriptions. I really enjoyed the plot but especially the Delta and the farm images.
Great book. Quick read. Would have given 5 stars, but I figured out the twist early on, so took a star away for that.
Audri Carey
I liked this book, although I liked Izzy's story much better than Karen's. Nathan was really hard to connect with.
Candi Moreland
Really good book. Kept my interest all the way through.
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Gayle Brandeis is the author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperSanFrancisco), Dictionary Poems (Pudding House), The Book of Dead Birds, which won Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change, and her latest novel, Self Storage. Other awards include the QPB/Story Magazine Short Fiction Award and a Peace Poetry prize from ...more
More about Gayle Brandeis...
The Book of Dead Birds Self Storage My Life with the Lincolns Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write The Book Of Live Wires

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