Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Virtual Author Book Tours: Dinner With Lisa by R.L. Prendergast

Title: Dinner With Lisa
Author: R.L. Prendergast
Publisher: Dekko Publishing
Publish Date: November 1, 2011
Source: Virtual Author Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You like family stories.
What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "In the disastrous economic times of the 1930s, Joseph Gaston, a young widower with four children, arrives in the small town of Philibuster seeking security for his family. Instead, he faces barriers everywhere. He does his best despite great adversity, but the strain of feeding and protecting his family whittles away his strength. Finally, destitution forces him to consider giving up his children in order to save them. Enraged by his situation, he attempts one last desperate act—on the night he learns about the mysterious Lisa.

Heart wrenching, humorous and historically authentic, Dinner with Lisa incorporates the crucial issues of the depression: poverty, unemployment, drought and racism. In the midst of love and loyalty, trickery and despair, the ultimate message of the novel is one of hope and the courage to survive even the worst odds."

My Two Cents:

You all know that I love historical fiction. I haven't read very many fiction books about the Great Depression (in fact, the last one I can remember is Grapes of Wrath actually). With everything going on with the economy right now, I've definitely been interested in reading more about the Great Depression, which was really the last time that the economy had been in such a bad state. So Dinner With Lisa came at a good time for me. Sometimes books find you at just the right time, no?

This book isn't exactly happy but it's hopeful. Joseph is definitely a character that you will feel yourself pulling for throughout the book. After the death of his wife, he goes to live in a small Canadian town with his four young children. In those days, fathers were not seen as being able to take good care of children and a lot of people wonder why Joseph didn't let a female relative raise the kids. Joseph is determined to keep his family together. He finds jobs where he can and tries to make ends meet. You definitely have to admire that. He's a good guy and I really found myself feeling bad about his situation. You'll find yourself cheering for him all the way.

I also really liked the setting. Philibuster is an interesting little town. I really liked seeing how the Great Depression affected people in small towns and outside of the United States. Some coped better than others.

Everyone knows everyone in Philibuster. And everyone seems to not always be as they seem. I loved putting together the different pieces to figure out what was really going on with each character. The character that I liked figuring out best was Joseph's sister-in-law, Tilda. At first, she seemed really sweet. She opens her house to Joseph and his family. She takes care of the children lovingly. And then, on the other hand, she has designs on breaking up the family. The juxtaposition is fascinating.

Bottom line: This is a great historical fiction with a lot of warmth!

Don't Forget to Follow the Rest of the Tour:

So Many Precious Books Feb. 28 Giveaway
Mrs. Q Book Addict Mar. 1 Review
Darlene’s Book Nook  Mar. 2 Guest Post & Giveaway
Ink Spots and Roses Mar. 6 Interview & Giveaway
Ink Spots and Roses Mar. 7 Review
WV Stitcher  Mar. 8 Review
WV Stitcher
Mar. 9 Guest Post 
Lit and Life Mar. 9 Review
Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf Mar. 12 Review
Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf Mar. 13 Guest Post
Book Spark
Mar. 13 Review & Giveaway
A Casual Reader’s Blog  Mar. 14 Review
A Casual Reader’s Blog Mar. 15 Guest Post & Giveaway
My Devotional Thoughts Mar. 15  Review
So Many Precious Books Mar. 16   Review
Reflections of a Book Addict
Mar. 19
A Bookish Affair
Mar. 20 Review
A Bookish Affair
Mar. 21 Interview & Giveaway
All I Ever Read
Mar. 21 Review
This Miss Loves to Read
Mar. 22 Review
Peeking Between the Pages
Mar.23 Review & Giveaway
Let Them Read Books
Mar. 25 Review
The Wormhole
Mar. 26  Review & Giveaway
Library of Clean Reads
 Mar. 27  Review & Giveaway
Hardcover Feedback
Mar. 29 Review
Hardcover Feedback
Mar. 30 Interview & Giveaway
Col Reads
Mar. 30 Review


  1. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I really love the format of your reviews! This book sounds very interesting.

  2. Lovely review..this sounds like something i woud enjoy. I tried to think of other books from this era..and like you only the grapes of wrath comes to mind.

    1. I've been racking my brain and still all I can come up with is GoW. I wonder why this time period is not written about more...

  3. I'm glad that you enjoyed this one, so did I. I was really surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Great review!

    1. It was definitely good. I love historical fiction and I especially love it when it's about things that I'm not so familiar with.

  4. Thank you for the kind review. Like you and your readers I don't know too many novels that were about the Depression. After being inspired by family stories that took place during the 1930's, I thought the world could use another one. If your readers are interested in using "Dinner with Lisa" as their discussion topic, I would be happy to join their book club (over the phone) for a short discussion. I can be reached at rod(at)RLPrendergast(dot)com.

    Kindest Regards,

    R. L. (Rod) Prendergast

    1. I really love when authors are able to draw from stories from their own families. Sometimes the best fiction comes from non-fiction ideas :)

  5. Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. I was rooting for Joseph as well!


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