Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart


It is the summer of 1958, and life in the small Texas community of Graham Camp should be simple and carefree. But not for twelve-year-old Sammie Tucker. Sammie has plenty of questions about her mother's "nerve" problems. About shock treatments. About whether her mother loves her.

When her mother commits suicide and a not-so-favorite aunt arrives, Sammie has to choose who to trust with her deepest fears: Her best friend who has an opinion about everything, the mysterious kid from California whose own troubles plague him, or her round-faced neighbor with gentle advice and strong shoulders to cry on. Then there's the elderly widower who seems nice but has his own dark past.

Trusting is one thing, but accepting the truth may be the hardest thing Sammie has ever done.

My take:~

Take note of the name of debut author Carla Stewart, you are certain to be seeing it often in the future. Chasing Lilacs is a beautifully wrought story about Sammie, a young girl dealing with more than her fair share of pain as her mother's mental health deteriorates, her father withdraws and she becomes intrigued by troubled teen, Cly MacLemore. The story is told through Sammie's eyes, as she wrestles with confusion, guilt and fledgling love in a poignant and believable way. As Sammie tries to make sense of her mother's depression, the personality altering treatment and her eventual death you will feel her shattering pain. As she takes tentative steps towards healing, you will know real joy. A complex look at family, friendship and faith, written with simplicity and tender emotion, Chasing Lilacs is an exceptional debut novel.

With thanks to Wynn-Wynn Media for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Carla's website and blog

Buy Carla's book at Amazon or Koorong


carla stewart said...

Thank you, Rel, for the heartwarming review. Sometimes this writing biz overwhelms me - this is one of those times. Blessings to you for the many writers whose work you promote.

Christina Tarabochia said...

Rel, I couldn't agree more. I read this book as an endorser and was amazed at Carla's ability to evoke emotion. She created a vivid, vibrant, tragic world and I loved every word of the story.

Deborah said...

wow i had no idea the cover was changed. the ARC i have has a cover of a vase of lilacs on the front. interestingly it goes from looking like a book for an older audience to one for younger readers

Lindi said...

Sounds like a book I would love to read. Some pings and pangs went off regarding my childhood as I read the review.
If I don't win---I will buy!

carla stewart said...

Thanks, Christina. I'm so fortunate to have you in my corner.

Deborah, I loved the vase w/ lilacs cover, too, but when my publisher suggested this change, I was even more in love with the cover. This one is more of a depiction of the story, I think. And I really hope that younger people pick it up too.

Linda, good luck in the drawing! And I would be honored if you bought it . . . just in case you don't win. And please let me know how you liked the book.

Thanks again, Rel. You're the best.

Vivian Zabel said...

The book does sound interesting. I registered for a chance to win a copy, but with my record, probably won't. *grin*

Delia Latham said...

Chasing Lilacs sound like a wonderful, fascinating book. I'd love to read this one!

misskallie2000 said...

This book sounds like a wonderful story. Have added to my wish list.

Pls count me in on the giveaway.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

carla stewart said...

Vivian and Delia, thanks for your comments. Maybe your luck will change, Vivian:-)

Thanks misskallie for adding me to your wish list. Gee, I wish you all could win :-)

Unknown said...

I had the good fortune of reading about Sammie's disfunctional family and her struggles when the book was in its infancy. Carla reaches the soul of this girl's heart. It was a joy to read then, and I'm sure it is now.

Scrappy quilter said...

Oooh it sounds like a wonderful read. Can't wait to find it in our bookstore.

James L. Rubart said...

I had the chance to peek at the first few pages of Carla's next novel and was blown away at how good she is.

I'd guess Chasing Lilacs is the same quality.

You're right, Rel, this is one lady to keep a close eye on.

rbooth43 said...

Chasing Lilacs sounds like a great read to put on my TBR list.


Rel said...

Hey there - love reading your comments :) Be sure to check out the character spotlight on Carla's Sammie, Rita, Cly & Tuwana - I've just posted it.

It's a pleasure having you here, Carla.

Jim ~ great to know the calibre of writing continues!

carla stewart said...

Thanks again, Rel. You have a lovely site, and it's been an privilege to be here.

Thank you, Bill, scrappy quilter, Jim, and rbooth - your comments mean a lot to me.

Jim - You make me blush, but thanks for the vote of confidence. We writers need that.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...