Books by Catherine Lewis

YOUNG ADULT
Released: Aug. 27, 2013

"A sparkling celebration of the craft of writing that easily rises to the level of belles lettres itself. (Nonfiction. 12 & up)"
From allegory to verisimilitude, the three blind mice demonstrate a wealth of literary terms. Read full book review >
CHRYSALIS by Catherine Lewis
Released: July 28, 2012

"Spiritual empowerment more so than weapons firepower (though there's that too) is the aim of this farfetched girl-meets-boy-who-is-CIA-and-Hollywood-hero-all-in-one yarn."
A social worker is catapulted into a whirlwind of romance and danger when she meets the love of her life, superstar actor and part-time CIA operative Sam Donovan. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2000

In her first YA novel, Lewis delivers a deceptively simple, in-depth psychological portrait of an angry girl who finds courage in her dreams of Abraham Lincoln. Meghan, 16, has lost nearly everything she loves. Her mother was killed in a car accident; her brother, Killian, has been psychologically destroyed during his tour of duty in Vietnam; her school has expelled her; her father, whom she calls the Banker, is a constant source of fighting. Early on in life, Meghan exhibited extraordinary talent for and joy in running. As the story opens, she has lost a leg to cancer, and has retreated into rage, refusing to undergo rehabilitation. In the hospital she clings to one remaining love: her affection for Lincoln, who lived in her hometown of Springfield, Illinois. As she ponders scenes from her life and from his, she begins to write postcards to him in which she expresses her frustrations. One night after taking a powerful sleeping pill she finds a visitor in her room: Lincoln himself. Meghan's postcards have replaced the holy cards she collected as a girl in Catholic school, and she passes on their power to her damaged brother. Lewis's sentences are as spare as her brief chapters, presenting snapshots of Meghan reminiscent of her postcards. Scenes of anger, sorrow, and fleeting happiness merge to produce recognizable characters who walk and breathe in this impressive first effort. (Fiction. 12-14) Read full book review >
DRY FIRE by Catherine Lewis
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

Not a police novel, but a novel about a police officer: the making of a female cop in the Florida panhandle, courtesy of first-timer Lewis. Eight years as a paramedic handling the messiest kinds of cases have sent Abigail Fitzpatrick nearly around the bend. Now she's at the police academy, learning fingerprint identification, pursuit driving, streetside law (a nuisance), self-defense (no problem), and marksmanship (big problem), and fending off the attentions of officers who hate lesbians, as well as of officers who think they have just what it takes to straighten them out. Harassed because she's the new kid, because she's a woman, because she's gay, Fitz gets over her lover Makayla Kay's abrupt departure—bucking for sergeant, Makayla decided she couldn't make it with another woman as baggage—and grows the shell she needs to survive her rookie patrols and her unpredictable colleagues. In dozens of sharp vignettes—Fitz turns the volume down on a partying couple who'd like to get her involved, returns a dead cat to its owner, and frets over not hitting the convenience-store-robber-cum-rapist she fired on—author Lewis, herself a cop and former emergency medical technician, shows her dumping peanuts into her soft drinks to get some solid nourishment, popping Rolaids like candy, and growing into the world's toughest job. Not so her buddy Tony Morelli, who gets into trouble while he's still in the academy, begs Fitz to lie to Internal Affairs after he beats a suspect, and ends up needing more help than even she can give him. But apart from Morelli's woes and Fitz's sex life—from hovering, noncommittal Makayla to tremulous rape victim Jenny—there's not much momentum here: The book works better as a mosaic of great snapshots than as a sustained narrative. Except for the story itself, though, every gritty detail is perfectly in place. Read full book review >