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Review: Stiltsville

September 23, 2010

Frances is in Miami for a wedding when she’s invited to visit one of the stilthouses in Biscayne Bay.  She loves the house, the water and the view and while she’s there she meets Dennis, the man she will marry.  She leaves Atlanta behind and embraces Miami and her new life.

I have to admit that Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel started out a little slow for me, but it didn’t take it long to captivate me, and at the end of the book I cried like a baby.   The writing is magnificent in this story of love – between friends, parents and children, and spouses.  It’s about the deep, abiding love we all strive for.  I found myself lost in Daniel’s words and became emotionally involved.  This is a book to savor.

I loved Frances and Dennis – they were loyal and determined and faithful.  Their marriage had its ups and downs but they stuck with it and worked together to make things better.  Their marriage and their friendships felt so real to me.  They were just ordinary people doing the best they could – sometimes it was easy and sometimes it wasn’t.  Isn’t that what real life is all about?  That description probably makes the book sound average, but believe me when I say it’s not!

Stiltsville is set in Miami, beginning in 1969, and I loved the way Daniel incorporated real events into it.  I actually remembered many of the events she wrote about and that added to quality of the book for me.  Miami became another character in the book and I enjoyed reading about how it grew from a sleepy little town into the city it is today.  I also loved reading about the real Stiltsville and would love to see the houses that remain – be sure to check out the photos on the author’s web site.

There is so much to love about this book – a fantastic story, gorgeous writing and a little history – do yourself a favor and read it.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins for this TLC Book Tour.
43 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2010 6:00 am

    I’ve wanted to read this one since I heard about it on an author’s site (I can’t remember which one- oops!). I love the themes and I’m glad that you enjoyed it. On the wish list it goes!

  2. September 23, 2010 6:02 am

    Kathy, I think my reaction to STILTSVILLE was similar to yours. My review posts next week on the tour. I was very touched by this book. Very touched.

  3. September 23, 2010 7:25 am

    Oh jeez, pictures? I can’t resist pictures. And not that I’m all that in love with Miami but I am in love with my home state. Lots and lots of character.

  4. September 23, 2010 8:29 am

    I love books that make me cry! Sounds good!

  5. September 23, 2010 8:34 am

    The Dexter audio book I was listening to made a reference to Stiltsville and I thought of this book. Great review.

  6. September 23, 2010 9:27 am

    This sounds like a fantastic story. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  7. September 23, 2010 10:00 am

    You definitely liked this one a lot more than I did, but I do agree that the sense of place in this book was fantastic. I read that the author lived in Miami for many years, and her knowledge of the place really shows through in her writing. Wonderful review, Kathy. It’s really nice to get another opinion.

  8. September 23, 2010 10:25 am

    This sounds like a good one Kathy…I like how Miami actually became a character of it’s own for you. Thanks for the review and I may need to add this one to my list!

  9. September 23, 2010 10:32 am

    You sure seem to have enjoyed this one. I took a look at that page too, and liked it 🙂

  10. September 23, 2010 11:09 am

    This book sounds like a really good read. Glad you enjoyed it.

  11. September 23, 2010 11:12 am

    What a great review, Cathy! I haven’t heard of this one before, but am curious to check it out further now!

  12. September 23, 2010 12:51 pm

    I am fascinated by these houses now. I would love to live in one. Off to check the author’s website.

  13. September 23, 2010 1:04 pm

    It’s wonderful when a book makes you want to travel to that place to see it. Nicholas Sparks books make me want to go to the Outer Banks. The book sounds excellent, thanks to your glowing review. I will “check out” the website photos. 🙂

  14. September 23, 2010 1:33 pm

    I love when the setting is like another character in the book. It sounds like this one treats Miami that way. I don’t like the look of the house on the cover though. Looks so fragile with all that water around.

  15. September 23, 2010 3:31 pm

    I live in Miami and have more than once traveled by boat to Stiltsville – although I’ve never been inside one of the houses. I’ve been wanting to read this one. The author will be at indie bookstore in the next week or so for a signing. I plan on getting it then. Thanks for the lovely review.

  16. September 23, 2010 3:51 pm

    Well with an endorsement like that, how can I refuse? 🙂

  17. September 23, 2010 3:53 pm

    This one sounds really good. Those kinds of houses fascinate me!

  18. September 23, 2010 4:26 pm

    I have been wanting to read this anyway, now I am adding it higher up my list.

  19. September 23, 2010 5:37 pm

    I couldn’t imagine living in a house like that…I think I would be terrified it was going to fall down at any time. Not that this is much different from a normal house..I just don’t see it. haha!

  20. September 23, 2010 6:19 pm

    Lovely lovely review…I am so glad you loved it…it truly was the most beautiful book…

  21. September 23, 2010 6:38 pm

    I had no idea that there really is a Stiltsville. This sounds like a wonderful read!

  22. September 23, 2010 7:44 pm

    Stiltsville is real?!? I just checked out the link and found it fascinating.

  23. September 23, 2010 7:48 pm

    I love the cover … I want to stay in a house on stilts!
    I like it when the location becomes a kind of character too.

  24. September 23, 2010 8:26 pm

    I’m adding to my wishlist right away! This sounds like a book I would love. Heading over to goodreads right away…

  25. givingreadingachance permalink
    September 23, 2010 9:52 pm

    Awesome review. I will definitely buy this when it is released here. Thanks for the review. 🙂 And i love the book cover too.

  26. September 23, 2010 11:20 pm

    You’ve sold me – this book sounds wonderful! I’ll add it to my wishlist!

  27. September 23, 2010 11:58 pm

    I’m so glad you liked it. I did too. I cried buckets at the end but overall it was so well done.

  28. Kaye permalink
    September 24, 2010 7:42 am

    The ending was worth the slowness of the rest of the book.

  29. September 24, 2010 9:49 am

    This is definitely going on my wishlist. It’s my kind of book. Thanks for the review!

  30. September 24, 2010 11:50 am

    I’m reading this one now and have to admit I’m glad you reviewed it. Truthfully, the book was beginning to drag and I was wondering if it would ever pick up and so I’m happy you mentioned the slowness and how you wound up captivated – just what I was hoping to hear! I can’t wait to continue with it now – thanks! I’m actually from a small town near Miami, so I know what you mean about those amazing stilt houses – they are truly a wonder.

  31. September 24, 2010 2:48 pm

    I had never seen a stilthouse until I moved down to the MS Gulf Coast. Now there are a few right down the road! They’re incredibly odd looking but some are nice.

  32. September 24, 2010 8:50 pm

    I will do myself a favor and read this one!!! Thanks for that heartfelt review 😀

  33. September 24, 2010 8:57 pm

    Ohhh–I haven’t read a book that made me cry in years. I’m going to have to pick this one up!

  34. stacybuckeye permalink
    September 25, 2010 10:01 am

    Seeing the reviews of this book really make me want to live in a stilt house for a while! I’m glad the book was good too 🙂

  35. September 25, 2010 2:22 pm

    oohh i’m adding this one to my wish list. thanks for the rec! i’m glad you enjoyed it so much.

  36. September 25, 2010 10:47 pm

    This one sounds great! I love it when books feature the city itself as a central character. It’s even more wonderful if you know the history too.

  37. September 26, 2010 7:12 am

    Sounds really good. Thanks for the heads up about the pace.

  38. September 26, 2010 7:26 am

    I’m a sucker for good books that make you cry and laugh… Basically being wrapped in the characters lives as though they were my own. Noting this one for the TBR list.

    Great review and really keep writing since I always hearing your thoughts.

  39. September 26, 2010 9:11 am

    I don’t know about the story…but I have always been fascinated by those stilthouses.

  40. September 27, 2010 4:05 pm

    Kathy, I’m so pleased the book resonated with you. I love a book that moves me to tears. Great review; thank you so much for being on this tour.

  41. September 28, 2010 11:37 am

    Will definitely add to my list,Thanks!

  42. October 1, 2010 9:59 am

    I’ll remember to save this one for when I’m in the mood for a good cry. Thanks for the review!

  43. October 4, 2010 12:33 pm

    I want to know what made you cry! I’ll have to borrow Serena’s copy.

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