Monday, October 4, 2010

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Stiltsville by Susanna Daniels

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper (August 3, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0061963070

From the publisher:

Set against a vivid and lush South Florida background during the years of Miami’s coming-of-age, Stiltsville offers a gripping, bittersweet portrait of a marriage—and romance—that deepens over the course of three decades.

One sunny morning in 1969, near the end of her first trip to Miami, twenty-six-year-old Frances Ellerby finds herself in a place called Stiltsville, a community of houses built on pilings in the middle of Biscayne Bay. On the dock of a stilt house, with the dazzling skyline in the distance and the unknowable ocean beneath her, she meets the house’s owner, Dennis DuVal—and a new future reveals itself.

Turning away from her life, Frances moves to Miami to be with Dennis. Over time, she earns the confidence of his wild-at-heart sister and the approval of his oldest friend. Frances and Dennis marry and have a child—but rather than growing complacent about their good fortune, they continue to face the challenges of intimacy, and of the complicated city they call home.

Stiltsville is essentially the story of the ebb and flow of marriage and family life in a unique setting as told by Frances, the main character. Frances seemed to drift through life apathetically and I was actually surprised at one point when she said she really loved Dennis. What redeemed her character somewhat for me was the ending.  I finally  connected to Frances and felt such pain for Dennis with what he went through. I felt I got more insight into the DuVals while they were facing his ordeal. Of course, any crisis in a marriage really tests the strength of the spouses. It can either make or break the marriage and Frances came through with flying colors. To be fair, she did have a tremendous support system with her in-laws and her daughter Margo. If she didn't, I'm not too convinced she would have coped as easily.

It's obvious how much Daniels knows the area. Biscayne Bay is almost another character in the story. Daniels easily managed to mentally convey me there. The descriptions of the lush flora and fauna are impeccable. I found it most interesting to read about the lifestyles of stilt house owners. Even though I live it Florida, I've never seen any of these houses. If you would like to see some pics for yourself, you can go here.

Stiltsville is more of a "tell me"  than a "show me" book and I think this is one of the reasons I had trouble connecting with Frances. I did like a few of the supporting characters but throughout the story, Dennis seemed a little nebulous to me. I was told what he did but didn't get even a sense of what he thought about the marriage. Even though the story is written from Frances's view point, I think Dennis's character could have been a little more developed in the beginning. For me it was a good read, just not a stellar one but Daniels does show promise as a writer. 3***

If you would like to read more about Susanna Daniels, you can find her here.

Now for the giveaway details:

1 copy for giveaway open to  US & Canada
Bonus entries available :
+2 for old followers - remind me how you follow and under what name
+3 for new followers thru GFC
+3 for posting about and linking to drawing or tweeting. Please, please please, DO NOT leave 3 separate comments saying you tweeted or that you are a follower! :-) Be sure to leave an e-mail contact. Deadline to enter is Oct 14th at 5 PM (est) Good luck!

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by TLC tours in exchange for an honest opinion of the book.


  1. Sounds like an interesting novel. Please enter my name in the giveaway!

    +2 I'm an old GFC follower (Mary)

    +3 I linked on my giveaway page:

    meah56[at]gmail . com

  2. It sounds like a really good book, I would love to read it.
    I am a old gfc follower. +2

  3. Sounds like a good read!

    Old GFC follower - Karen B


  4. Please include me, thank you.


    +2 old follower via GFC (fredamans)
    +3 tweet;!/fredalicious/status/26369070551

  5. I've seem this one around and would love to chance to read it.

    +2 Old GFC follower (Jonita)


  6. I seemed to like this more than everyone else - I just loved it and cried like a baby at the end. No need to enter me.

  7. I like the idea that the setting is more or less a character in itself.

    I'm an old GFC follower. - Carol

    carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

  8. I'd be interested in reading this one.

    +3 I'm a new GFC follower (Leslie)
    +3 Posted the contest in the sidebar of my blog.

    undermyappletree at gmail dot com

  9. I've been wanting to read this!

    +2 I'm an old GFC Follower!


  10. I liked how you used ebb & flow in your review of this story. I really would like to read it!

  11. Please count me in. I am an old follower.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  12. It sounds like a fine story, thanks for the info and chance to win.
    +2 I am an old GFC follower (holdenj)

  13. What an interesting book that I would love to win and read. I am an old follower on Google Reader.

    gcpeach17 at aol dot com

  14. I have heard both good & bad about this book but would love to read it so I can make up my own mind. Please enter me. thanks.

    +2 for following you on my yahoo home page

  15. No need to enter me, of course. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

  16. I've been dying to read this one!

    +3 New follower.


    jhsmail at comcast dot net

  17. Sounds like a a very interesting novel.
    Thanks for the chance to enter.
    +3 I'm a new follower via GFC.

    pippirose59 at gmail dot com

  18. please enter me & thx for the contest

  19. I'm a new follower

    nblexp at gmail dot com

  20. Please count me in. I am a new GFC follower.

    teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

  21. I'd love to read this. Thanks!

    +2 Old Follower under pbclark


  22. Oh I really want this one...

    +2 old follower on GFC

    +3 linked on Tutu's Two Cents contest sidebar

    tbranco AT hughes DOT net

  23. Thanks so much!
    +2 I'm an old GFC follower (Brooke).


  24. I'd love to win! I'm an RSS follower.

    nomadreaderblog (at) g mail (dot) com

  25. Please enter me - the book sounds interesting.

    jgoffice at)cox(dot)net

    +2 I'm an old follower on GFC (Beachreader)

  26. A very interesting storyline and I would like to read this book.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

    I follow by google reader +2

  27. Please enter me in your contest!

    I've been a follower.

    And I blogged about your contest here.

    joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

  28. Sounds like an interesting book. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    +2 I'm an old GFC follower (Ann)


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