Dinner with Lisa by R.L. Prendergast is a depression era novel taking place in 1933 that takes you away to a time and place where people went hungry, where jobs were scarce if there were any at all, and people lived in fear of even knowing if they’d be able to make it another day. R.L. Prendergast brings all that and more to life for us in Dinner with Lisa.
The novel opens with Joseph, a widower with four young children, traveling by train to the small town of Philibuster. His brother and his wife live there and Joseph is hoping to find work and the means to support his children. His brother had told him about a job and he applied via mail and was told to report to work on a certain date. Poor Joseph shows up but unfortunately his job was given away just the day before. Joseph is devastated – just how is he going to support his family now? As Joseph battles setback after setback he becomes increasingly worried about how he and his children are going to survive. Many things happen to Joseph and his family along the way in this tale but the one thing that ultimately shines through the pages is the power of love, family, and most of all hope even in the hardest and harshest of times.
I really liked Joseph. Even though he lost his wife in childbirth he was still trying to do his best for his children. He was an admirable and honest man who only wanted to work hard to support his family. His brother Henri is hilarious and a scheme he hatches with a buddy of his is quite funny. There is even a tiny bit of romance in this novel with a woman I’ll just call Lisa for now. I really found myself rooting for Joseph and his family and only wanting the best for them. I have to commend the author as well for bringing the depression to life within the pages of this book. His vivid descriptions of life in that era and the hardships that people endured really have you feeling as though you are living through them yourself and at the same time thankful that you’re not. I also really appreciated the historical significance of the novel. I learned many things about my own country of Canada that I hadn’t known previously.
I think this book really appealed to me on two levels. I live in one of the prairie provinces and I really enjoyed hearing about places and things that were familiar to me like Fort Edmonton, the Stanley Cup, the radio program The Shadow, or even the beginnings of the railroad in Alberta. Another was the era it takes place in which was the 1930’s and the descriptions of the rough times and scarcity of so many things brought me back to the stories my parents tell me of their own growing up years. Both of my parents grew up in the 1940’s and times were tough. Many times my grandparents went hungry in order to feed their children just as Joseph does in this novel. They lived through the times where your livelihood depended on your crops and how devastating it was when something happened to destroy them. This novel gave me more insight into what life would have been like for my parents and for that reason it really captured and held my attention. I think a novel is always better for a person when they can relate to it in such a such a personal way. I enjoyed it thoroughly and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys books that take place during the depression.
I read Dinner with Lisa by R.L. Prendergast for his book tour with Premier Virtual Author Book Tours. Be sure to pop by the other tour stops to see what everyone else is saying about the book. You can find Rod on his website, Facebook, or Twitter. Your own copy of Dinner with Lisa can be purchased here in the US or here in Canada.
I am pleased to offer up a copy of Dinner with Lisa by R.L. Prendergast to my readers. The giveaway is for a print copy or eBook copy of the book to Canadian or US readers or an eBook copy only to international readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry simply leave me a comment entering the giveaway
- For 2 entries, follow my blog. If you already do, thank you, and just let me know so I can pass the extra entry on to you as well.
- For 3 entries, blog or tweet this giveaway and spread the word.
This giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents for a print copy or eBook copy and to international entrants for an eBook copy only. I will draw for the winner on Saturday, April 7/12. Good luck!
Source: Review copy provided by Premier Virtual Author Book Tours and the Author. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.