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Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow by Dedra Johnson - Review & Giveaway


Ever read a book that haunted you? One that would not, no matter how you tried, allow you to put it down until the last page was read? If it’s been awhile since you’ve had that type of a reading experience, then it’s time to read Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow by Dedra Johnson.

Sandrine, a girl of nine living in New Orleans in the mid-1970’s, has had to grow up much faster than any little girl should have to do. Her mother makes it painfully clear she was never wanted and has interfered in her mother’s life in every way possible. Her father loves her, but only from a distance. She seems to be tossed aside carelessly by everyone who is supposed to love and care for her; no one protects her.

Written in first person, Sandrine is a very real character from page one. Despite the fact that it is told through the eyes of a child, the voice is intelligent and mature for her years. But Sandrine is still only a child. The reader will understand much more of what is happening in Sandrine’s life than she does. Sandrine is taken through difficulties no child should experience, including racism (even among her own family due to her light skin) sexual assault, and child abuse.

Dedra Johnson has a unique voice, and with her skills at writing page-turning narrative, I’m certain it’s only a matter of time before we hear more from her. Her work has an appeal that can easily hook you; with the right promotion, hers will become more than just another book on the shelf. I’m not the only one who feels this way - she’s been compared to Toni Morrison, and I have to agree it has that beautiful yet heartbreaking quality Morrison is known for.

Dedra Johnson is a New Orleans native. Dedra was a finalist for the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award for College Writers and Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow was a finalist for the 2006 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award. Check back tomorrow to read my interview with Dedra where she’ll give us some insight on her book.

I have a copy of Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow to give away to one reader. As always, subscribers are automatically entered in this and all future book giveaways. (If you’re not subscribed, please type your email address in the box in the right-hand column. Make sure you add Feedburner to your address book so you can verify your subscription.) You can also enter by leaving a comment telling me what interests you about the book, or link to this giveaway from your own blog. Do all three, and you have three entries. I’ll draw a winner on April 24, 2008, 12 midnight. (***Note: Contest is now extended to April 25, 2008 midnight. This drawing is now listed on Bloggy Giveaways, which is having a huge giveaway carnival. If you like giveaways, this is the place to be this week!)

A carp(e) libris reviews goldfish award book.

96 comments to Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow by Dedra Johnson - Review & Giveaway

  1. Louise A Brouillette
    April 21st, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    It sounds very interesting.

  2. Susan Smith
    April 21st, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Interesting read

  3. Dixie
    April 21st, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Just from your description, I already want to know what happens to this little girl.
    Sounds like a great read.

  4. Christina Almond
    April 21st, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Sounds like a great book!

  5. Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow by Dedra Johnson | Contests 4 Moms
    April 21st, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    [...] Where: carp(e) libris reviews [...]

  6. adrienne gordon
    April 21st, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    looks cool.

  7. raych
    April 21st, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    I would love love love this book. Count me in!

  8. jennifer allen
    April 21st, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    enter me.

  9. susan varney
    April 21st, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    love to read this

  10. Tara R
    April 21st, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    I’d like to read this!

  11. Cindi
    April 21st, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Happy Monday! It has been quite awhile since I have read a real page turner! This story sounds so true to life for too many young children! The cover itself is rather haunting. Please enter me in this book drawing. I appreciate it. Many thanks…..Cindi

  12. Bebemiqui
    April 21st, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I like books that stick in your mind. Great giveaway! Count me in. bebemiqui82(at)yahoo(dot)com

  13. Jane Marie
    April 21st, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    I’ve been looking for a book that holds me captive to the very last page. This sounds like the one.

  14. Heather
    April 21st, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    I love when books haunt me… therefore, I’d love to win a copy of this one. :)

  15. christopher h
    April 21st, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    this sounds fascinating

  16. Susan Chester
    April 22nd, 2008 at 12:38 am

    I would love to read this. From the description it sounds a little like another wonderful book-Bastard out of Carolina.

  17. Kathryn
    April 22nd, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Sandrine is taken through difficulties no child should experience, including racism (even among her own family due to her light skin) sexual assault, and child abuse.
    ———
    Having lived through some of the civil rights struggle in both Lousiana (Kenner… just outside of New Orleans)and Mississippi…this would be a valuable addition to my book collection dealing with topics such as this. It sounds riveting! (Have you read “Strange Fruit” by Lillian Smith?)

  18. Tonya Keener
    April 22nd, 2008 at 1:14 am

    I would love to read this

  19. Ann
    April 22nd, 2008 at 2:42 am

    I would love to win this book, it sounds very captivating. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  20. Sharon Jones
    April 22nd, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Sounds like a wonderful summer read…and in a place in this country that I adore…thanks :)

  21. Carla Cui
    April 22nd, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Being told from the point of view of a child is intriguing…count me in!

  22. Ivan Girl
    April 22nd, 2008 at 7:05 am

    if Johnson is being compared to Morrison, I guess it’s a good read - a book with a heart.

    please count me in. :)

    i’m also subscribed to your feed.

    thanks.

  23. Cynthia C
    April 22nd, 2008 at 7:40 am

    This sounds like just the kind of book I love to read. Thanks for the chance to win.

  24. carp(e) libris reviews » Blog Archive » An Interview with Author Dedra Johnson
    April 22nd, 2008 at 8:25 am

    [...] I reviewed the book Sandrine’s Letter for Tomorrow.   Today I have a special interview with the author, Dedra Johnson.  I love to find out how an [...]

  25. diane
    April 22nd, 2008 at 9:34 am

    A book that resounds with me and would be unforgettable and memorable. Thanks for this chance.

  26. Roger Keeney
    April 22nd, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Sounds like an interesting book for my daughter

  27. kathy Scott
    April 22nd, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I love to read, and I am always looking for new authors.

  28. Jasmin
    April 22nd, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Sounds like a great read, thanks!

  29. leanne c
    April 22nd, 2008 at 10:05 am

    looks great

  30. Jen
    April 22nd, 2008 at 10:25 am

    I feel like I have been reading a lot of books that are good, not great lately. I could really use a really haunting book!

  31. Free Books « Devourer of Books’ Weblog
    April 22nd, 2008 at 10:27 am

    [...] You also have until Wednesday night to enter at carp(e) libris reviews to win a copy of Sandrine’s Letter To Tomorrow, which carp(e) assures us is an absolutely haunting book.  See the contest here. [...]

  32. sarah
    April 22nd, 2008 at 10:34 am

    I’ve never read a dramatic story written in first person through a child’s eyes, I’m really interested in checking out this one.

  33. Elizabeth M.
    April 22nd, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I have only read a book that haunted me a couple of times and the last time was last summer. I still think about it sometimes. I would really love to read this one.

  34. Cindy S.
    April 22nd, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Love to read…good for the mind

  35. Shelly
    April 22nd, 2008 at 11:52 am

    I would love to read another book about New Orleans - A Confederacy of Dunces is one of my favorites

  36. Audrey
    April 22nd, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book. Look forward to reading this one !

  37. Leslie Sil
    April 22nd, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    sounds great

  38. Desmond
    April 22nd, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I like books about New Orleans

  39. Kathleen
    April 22nd, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Wow this really sounds interesting. I love historical fiction, and the New Orleans aspect is always interesting. I’m sure it will be fascinating especially since the author is a native.

    I’ll also be linking to this on my blog :)

  40. S
    April 22nd, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    love New Orleans stories

  41. Win More Books « Kathleen’s Book Reviews
    April 22nd, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    [...] two more book giveaways.  First head over to carp(e) libris reviews for a chance to win “Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow” by Dedra Johnson.  Comment on [...]

  42. Elizabeth
    April 22nd, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    This book sounds like a “good read”.

  43. Di
    April 22nd, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Ooh, ooh…I’m in!!! Why am I not getting so many entries for my contests???

  44. Anna
    April 22nd, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    I have heard great things about this book. It kinda reminds me of “She’s Come Undone”, both tragic and funny.

  45. judy folk
    April 22nd, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    sounds great; would love to be captivated by this good read

  46. kristi blackstone
    April 23rd, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Enter me please!

  47. Liz
    April 23rd, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Great book!

  48. Niki Moy
    April 23rd, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Ready to start a new book.

  49. Julie
    April 23rd, 2008 at 1:38 am

    The synopsis of the novel caught my attention - it sounds very intriguing to me. I would love to win this. Thanks!

  50. Kathy L.
    April 23rd, 2008 at 1:46 am

    I love reading stories set in New Orleans and this would be a great book for the summer. Thanks for the giveaway.

  51. Leigh Nichols
    April 23rd, 2008 at 6:27 am

    wOOt!

  52. Kathi Book
    April 23rd, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Sounds heartbreaking, insightful, tender…would definately like to read ths book.

  53. Sheila Williams
    April 23rd, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I love to read and haven’t read a REALLY good one in a while. Sounds like this may be the one.

  54. Lisa Zimmerman
    April 23rd, 2008 at 11:15 am

    I’m ready for a new book I can’t put down.

  55. kristen
    April 23rd, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I love wonderfully written coming of age stories. This one sounds beautiful

  56. Laura
    April 23rd, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Always looking for a good old fashioned page-turner and this sounds like it fits the bill!

  57. Ronnica
    April 23rd, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Hmmm…interesting.

  58. Ed Nemmers
    April 23rd, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Nice book jacket photography

  59. Hannah
    April 23rd, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I love reading thrilling books! The books you can’t put down are the best! Thanks for the chance to win!

  60. Mari Ickes
    April 23rd, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Yes, please enter me!! I also subscribed. What a terrific book!

  61. dh
    April 23rd, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    I love finding authors I’ve never read before. It’s like opening a gift. I’m suscribing too.

  62. Kimberly
    April 23rd, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    I have never heard of this book before. It really sounds like a great book!!! I’m going to add it to my list of “must read” books. Thank you for reviewing it and for offering it as a prize.

  63. Ilissa H.
    April 23rd, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    This sounds like a very sad and touching story. I’d like to read it because it seems like the type of story that will teach you a thing or two. Sounds great!

  64. Dawn
    April 23rd, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    The thing that interests me about this book is the good review. I love all different kinds of books, and reading a good review about one makes me want to read it.

  65. Samantha Pruitt
    April 23rd, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    this sounds like a really interesting subject esp. told through the eyes of a child

  66. Heather C
    April 23rd, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Oh, this sounds so sad. I can’t imagine being a child of nine and knowing for certain that my mother didn’t even want me. Looks like if I read this, I’ll be purchasing tissues.

  67. Sharla
    April 23rd, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    I read A LOT but it’s been a while since I’ve read one I couldn’t put down. I would love to read a book like that.

  68. Lesha
    April 24th, 2008 at 12:46 am

    Sounds like a good read!

  69. Sylvia Porter
    April 24th, 2008 at 12:46 am

    this is a really interesting idea for a book, i like the through they eyes of a child twist

  70. Terra Heck
    April 24th, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Your review of this book was great and I’d be interested in reading it.

  71. Tammy
    April 24th, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Thanks for the chance to win this book, looks like it would be a thought provoking read.

  72. claudette flanigan
    April 24th, 2008 at 8:14 am

    this sounds like my kind of book…please enter me!

  73. Buddy Garrett
    April 24th, 2008 at 8:22 am

    I am intrigued by the review comparing the author to Toni Morrison as well as the story being told from the perspective of a child. Life and the tragic events that happen to everyone and how each individual responds make interesting reading.

  74. carol drury
    April 24th, 2008 at 11:18 am

    intriguing book - love a great page turner!!!

  75. Terri Wagner
    April 24th, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Sounds interesting

  76. Sandy M
    April 24th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    I would love to read this book.

  77. Vicki wurgler
    April 24th, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    sounds like a very good book-I’d love to read this

  78. Mary Dunigan
    April 24th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I would love to read this book!! Please enter me in this contest

  79. Marilyn
    April 24th, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    That sure sounds like a great book I would love. Thank you for the great giveaway!

    Take Care,
    Marilyn

  80. Sarah Berry
    April 24th, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    This sounds like a great read. Please enter me. Thanks

  81. abrianna
    April 24th, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    The haunting part intrigues me.

  82. Lily Kwan
    April 24th, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    The story of a child struggling to grow up and cope with abuse interests me.

  83. Charlene Kuser
    April 24th, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    I love a mystery and this book
    creates a interest for me.

  84. Audrey
    April 25th, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Books written in the first person are always the best!

  85. The Chatty Housewife
    April 25th, 2008 at 3:16 am

    The story really interests me, I would love to read this book.

  86. Suzie
    April 25th, 2008 at 4:42 am

    I love books written in the first person. The storyline sounds really gripping.

  87. she
    April 25th, 2008 at 9:08 am

    i love coming-of-age novels and i’m also an abuse survivor of sorts.

    enter mine as well: http://www.taking-back-control.com
    it’s lonely over there.

  88. nottryingforaboy
    April 25th, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    That book sounds very interesting!

  89. Lindsie
    April 25th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    I would love to read this and I’m subscribing so I can win all your other giveaways too!

  90. Robin
    April 25th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I love to read books that come recommended from someone else, and the fact that this is told by a child makes it sound even more interesting. I’m going to subscribe to you right now!

  91. Beth
    April 25th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Sounds like a great book! I actually grew up near New Orleans in the 70s!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  92. C Duran
    April 25th, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

  93. Kim
    April 25th, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    The fact that it is told in first person makes it sound like a wonderful book!

    I’ve subscribed to your feed too!

    What a wonderful giveaway you are doing here.

    Have fun with your giveaway. Don’t forget to head on over to my blog and enter mine!

  94. Megret
    April 25th, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I love Southern fiction…especially books set in Louisiana. I used to live there…. Thanks!

    meg.wilson@gmail.com

  95. Roxy
    April 27th, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    I can’t imagine having the people who are supposed to love me… not love me. I’d like to know how she handles it.

  96. Erica G
    April 27th, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    It does sound like a book that would haunt you.

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