Thursday, September 17, 2009

Palace of Strange Girls ~ Book Review and Giveaway!

It was the summer of 1959. The war was in the past, Bobby Darin was on the radio, and change was in the air...

Set in the 1950s at a British seaside resort The Palace of Strange Girls portrays an economic atmosphere very familiar to the economic climate of today. The seaside resort of Blackpool, England is the vacation spot of blue collar cotton mill workers like Jack Singleton.

The Singleton family is on vacation but have not taken a holiday from the secrets, desires, and delusions which are the reality yet hidden in the shadows of their everyday lives. Jack's wife Ruth yearns for a modern kitchen and a bigger home--if only Jack made more money--but her most fervent wish is for her youngest daughter, Beth, to be healthy. Jack struggles with the decision to accept a new position but other secrets, and his longing for a different life force him to question the decisions of the past and question where his future will lead. Jack and Ruth's teenage daughter Helen rebels against the confines of her mother's strict rules and overbearing mothering but learns that longing and desire can often lead to heartache and danger. While Beth grapples with illness all she really wants is to belong.

Beth spends her holiday attempting to complete her I-Spy at the seaside book which reveals more hidden secrets and wonders than its literal meaning intends. Beth's I-Spy book acts as a guide to the inner workings of the characters, distraught with their mistakes, decisions, and lot in life. Beth finds her solace not only in her I-Spy book but at the Palace of Strange Girls. She realizes here she is not an oddity with her scars but rather her scars here make her special and give her power in a powerless life.

"Now it's time to say good-bye children! Our I-Spy adventure together has finally come to an end. Big Chief I-Spy hopes that you've enjoyed I-Spy at the Seaside and you've discovered lots of things that you never knew before!"(Day 2009:320)
The Palace of Strange Girls, Sallie Day's first novel, is brimming with evocative characters! I found myself feeling sympathy for the plights of each character as they displayed purely human fallibility, weakness, desire, and delusion. It is our secrets and desires that can fulfill us or destroy us! The winds of change blow into Blackpool for the Singleton family and their vacation's end marks a metamorphosis of individuals and family!
Deftly written and emotionally touching The Palace of Strange Girls is a uniquely crafted story which is reminiscently familiar because it is a story of human emotions we all share and understand!
Five lucky Northern Mama readers will have the opportunity to be moved by this, the story of one family on a transformative holiday of self-discovery!
To Enter:
  • Follow Northern Mama or become a follower {Required}

Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closed October 1st 2009, 10:00pm CT. For further giveaway details read the General Giveaway Rules.


  1. This book sounds exciting, please count me in.

    I am a email subscriber and follower.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  2. I've read some fabulous reviews of this book. I'm already following you and would LOVE to win it!

    melacan at hotmail dot com

  3. Oh, sounds like a winner! Please enter me!
    I am a follower.

    dlodden at frontiernet dot net

  4. Sounds interesting! I'm a follower carolejm at gmail dot com

  5. I am a follower! I would love to win this!

  6. Thank you for the entry. I am a follower through Google connect.


  7. I'm a follower:)


  8. I am a follower and I subscribe via email.
    Great giveaway
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

  9. need a good fall read,,thx for the contest...

  10. I am a follower! I subscribe by email!

  11. Please include me in your giveaway

    Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at


  12. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway. I'm a follower.
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  13. I follow you with google friend connect

  14. THis sounds so good thanks

    i'm a follower

    wadesherry@hotmail dot com

  15. i follow

  16. I'd love to read this book. It sounds very intriging. Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. I would love to read this book. Please do enter me for the draw. :D

    linna.hsu at gmail dot com

  18. Love to win this. Please enter me. Thanks

    I follow you via google friend connect

  19. I am a follower and would love to read this.