I learned long ago that when a book's blurb says that the book is like (insert name of a popular book here), they are setting you up for disappointment. Often, authors try to cash in on the success of a bestseller by pumping out a cheap knock-off of the original and they seldom succeed. Even so, when I saw 'Sweeping Up Glass' compared to 'To Kill A Mockingbird', one of my all-time favorite books, I couldn't resist and ordered it immediately. I'm glad that I did. Carolyn Wall is no 'wannabe'. She's a great author in her own right. Is 'Sweeping Up Glass' a new 'Mockingbird'? No, but there are a lot of striking similarities. Both have young girls living with a kindhearted father in the South, assuming you consider the Kentucky hill country 'South'. Both address the subjects of racism and poverty. In both books, black people are helpful, kindly and hard-working and white people's behavior is often contingent on the color of a person's skin. Both books address essential deficiencies in the legal systems of the day and both books have dangerous, drunken bullies. Nevertheless, 'Sweeping Up Glass' is not a pale imitation of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. It is an excellent novel in its own right, full of well developed characters, good and evil, and a thrilling plot full of dark secrets, senseless violence and great courage. The last 100 pages will likely keep you up well into the night to find out how it ends. While Harper Lee wrote 'Mockingbird' from the perspective of an optimistic young girl who learns about life, Carolyn Wall's debut novel views life through the eyes of a middle aged grandmother who has spent decades being beaten down by poverty, neglect and tragedy. It has a brooding, melancholy air about it that is reminiscent of Norman Blake's poignant bluegrass ballad, 'Lonesome Jenny'. After a while the reader wonders if the sun ever shines in Aurora, Kentucky, and then realizes that the gloom is more a representation of Olivia's outlook than the weather. This is a powerful story and well worth your time.