Praise for Shaking Out the Dead
Whereas almost every standard Montana novel focuses on rural life and the isolation for which the state is known, Cholewa builds a believable world set in one of Montana’s modest urban centers, replete with gritty and sometimes sordid reality: a hint of prostitution, occasional violence, and the mundane reality of things like traffic and urban sprawl....More than anything else, what makes this novel so eminently readable is the convincing dialogue: no mean feat when the subject matter is so intense. Montana Senior NEWS
Shaking Out the Dead is going to go on my best books read of 2014 list! This was so good, that when I finished it, I sat there for awhile. Not wanting to leave the lives of all the characters I had grown to love and care about.
SHAKING OUT THE DEAD: A NOVEL IS A MEDITATIVE WORK OF DRAMATIC FICTION, OFTEN COMPARED TO THE WORK OF ALICE MUNRO (AND RIGHTLY SO), THAT WILL REMAIN IN READERS' HEARTS LONG AFTER THE LAST TEAR-STAINED PAGE IS TURNED! CHOLEWA IS A WRITER TO WATCH AND RELISH VERY CAREFULLY NOW AND IN THE FUTURE! THIS REVIEWER BELIEVES CHOLEWA STANDS IN A UNIQUE PLACE AS A CONTEMPORARY FICTION AUTHOR! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - Crystal Book Reviews
[SHAKING OUT THE DEAD] IS TIGHT, IMPLACABLE, PENETRATING, HONEST. SOMETIMES, BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO, THE CHARACTERS FLINCH, BUT NEVER THE PROSE...THIS IS A BRAVE AND AMBITIOUS BOOK.
– Mark Costello, author, The Murphy Stories
Shaking Out the Dead is riveting, sometimes tragic look at what love means to each of the characters. It takes place over a nine month period in Montana. It follows their lives as they struggle with life and finding and losing love.
This is a thought provoking story. There is humor in some situations that made me chuckle and heartbreak that had me rereading passages. This appealed to me because the emotions are raw and I could identify with them. The author is gifted in her writing and I highlighted passages to go back and contemplate.
This is an excellent love story for anyone who is interested in complexity. It is not an easy read but it will keep you turning pages. You will be cheering and crying along with the characters. The story is not always pleasant but it rings true to life.
– Book Bug
This novel is a bit vicious …it touches on the grit of the heart…a meaty story that nourishes the soul.
– Lolly LKH
While intensely dark moments pull the reader into empathy for the characters the overarching theme is neither negative nor depressing. Cholewa handles these subject matters as if she were well experienced with numerous novels under her pen. It is truly one of those novels that stays with you after you've put the book down...I highly recommend this novel to anyone daring to meet this wonderful cast of characters and fall into their world that is as rich as the real one we live in.
Sharp, poetic and painfully honest, this book is for anyone who has ever loved.
Shaking Out The Dead is the product of an author in command of her tools. Cholewa creates characters with emotional depth to make you care about them. Reading her work is effortless, the story flowing smoothly from beginning to end. At the same time she will offer you choice moments of writing that are so wonderful that I went back to savor them again. It takes a skilled storyteller to create characters so true within their flaws, place them in an authentic context and then weave a compelling tale . . .the story will carry you along to a destination you will not expect. The writing is accomplished and the storytelling evocative.
– Jay Phillipi, The View from Phlipside Blog