Surprised by the Elegant Gathering

Sometimes I can’t remember how or why a book ended up on my “to-read” list.  If the title seems intriguing, I check it out anyway. Most of the time, it turns out not to have been worth remembering!

One of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had in years, however, came to me recently courtesy of Kris Radish’s novel, The Elegant Gathering of White Snows.  One night, after their weekly “girl time,” eight friends decide to take a break from their lives, lace up their tennis shoes, and start walking. 

Down the highway. 

In the middle of Wisconsin.

With nothing but the clothes on their backs.


Through a mix of newspaper clippings, internal monologues, and narrative passages, we learn the various events that led the friends to seek change, and how their silent crusade–for they speak to no one–affects women and men all over the country as the story of their pilgrimage spreads.

Be forewarned:  this novel’s a weeper, but not in the paper-hearts, sentimental sort of way.  If you have the courage to look deeply into the heart of women’s joys and sorrows, you may find yourself engaged in a good, cleansing cry.  This novel gave me the urge to call up all my girlfriends and tell them how much I love them, and I recommend it highly to anyone who’s ever loved or lost, had a friend, or been a friend.

Have you ever been surprised by a book you didn’t think you’d like?  What have you read lately that’s moved you to tears?

–Leigh Anne


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3 responses to “Surprised by the Elegant Gathering

  1. Pingback: Science / Silence: Notes on a Media Fast « Library Alchemy

    • Pam Bram

      Your review is very intriguing….in response to your question at the end, The Elegance of the Hedgehog left me awash in tears at the end. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it highly. I’m off to find your novel about elegance, as I love the catharsis that good literature can create.

  2. Pam, thank you so much for the recommendation! I’m always looking for a truly moving book – please report back on “Elegant Gathering,” and I’ll do the same for the equally elegant hedgehog!

    Leigh Anne

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