Cover Image: Scenes From the Heartland

Scenes From the Heartland

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed the tales in this book. I remember a music teacher back in grade school putting on music and asking us to create a painting, drawing, some type of art work, as the music inspired us. I love the idea of painting inspired stories!  And, as a perk, the stories are short, so good for when time is limited and a story is needed! This has great tales with it, both based on reality and fantasy.  It would make a great gift for someone with ties to Missouri, or short story lover.
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Most everyone is familiar with the lithographs of Thomas Hart Benton. Once you have seen them, you remember them - they are very distinctive and tell an intense story. Well, peanut butter, meet jelly.  Donna Baier-Stein has written short stories to bring these lithographs to life.  Stories that will break your heart. It would be very hard to pick a favorite, but I truly loved Morning Train.  And Trouble at the Dance Hall.  And For Her Own Good. 

I am very pleased to be able to recommend this collection to friends and family.  This is a book to treasure and read again.  

I received a free electronic copy of this excellent collection of stories on February 22 from Netgalley, Donna Baier-Stein, and Serving House Books.  I have read and enjoyed this collection of stories of my own volition. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. This is my honest opinion of this work.
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This collection of artwork-generated storytelling presents a wonderful approach to historical fiction. The idea to create Americana type fictions based on Thomas Hart Benton's creative mid-western scenarios represents an intriguing starting point for creative interpretation. Although the early to mid-twentieth century tends to present a difficult historical era, most of us want to romanticize it a bit and look for the positive themes of determination, resiliency, love, etc. Ms. Stein, who admits to putting an auto-biographical spin on things, portrays a somewhat more negative interpretation and left me a bit depressed. Maybe her approach presents a more realistic version, but, I am searching to find a positive recollection too. I have a feeling though, that these short creations will stick in my mind longer due to their problematic and challenging realities. Either way, this collection entertains, enlightens and does not disappoint.
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I believe Art and Literature go hand in hand. Where would one be without the other. As both as they are culturally important, related, and different you have unique stemming from both mediums. This makes a powerful combination if used correctly. So I read this like greased lightening. Each short story had its own meaning, taste, and picture. Meaning you weren’t reading the same thing twice. This book also grants you the ability to travel which is great. You actually got to see how the states and towns were in each story by the language. Overall good read!
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