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  • Fiction & Literature
  • Teen

Susan Gabriel

Acclaimed author Susan Gabriel grew up in the archetypal American South, playing in the shade of mimosa trees and catching lightning bugs as the heat waned on long summer evenings.

In Charleston, SC, Gabriel was a professional flutist playing at the famous Piccolo Spoleto festival, as well as many private gigs in historic homes and sailboats. Gabriel completed a degree in counseling, in part to understand the wide array of characters in her Appalachian gene pool, and became a marriage and family therapist. She was the founder of the Women’s Center  ...See more >


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"Sharp-witted, strong, curious and distrustful of authority figures not living up to her standards—including God—Louisa May [Wildflower] immerses us in her world with astute observations and wonderfully turned phrases, with nary a cliché to be found. She could be an adolescent Scout Finch....A quietly powerful story, at times harrowing but ultimately a joy to read.”"

Kirkus Reviews


AWARDS, PRESS & INTERESTS

Kirkus Star: THE SECRET SENSE OF WILDFLOWER

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2012: THE SECRET SENSE OF WILDFLOWER


BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:

FICTION & LITERATURE
Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-0983588238
Page count: 224pp

In this novel, life turns toward a dark horizon for a precocious adolescent grieving for her father in 1941 Tennessee.

It’s difficult to harbor secrets in a rural mountain town of maybe 80 souls, especially when adult siblings live within spitting distance of the family home. Most of the townsmen work at the sawmill, and most of the young women have been harassed at one time or another by creepy Johnny Monroe. But Louisa May McAllister, nicknamed Wildflower, knows that revealing her frequent forays to the cemetery, where she talks to her beloved late father, would only rile her embittered mother. She also knows to hide her “secret sense,” as it would evoke scorn from all save eccentric Aunt Sadie, who shares her tomboy niece’s gift. Those secrets come at a cost when, on one of her graveyard visits, Louisa May ignores her premonition of danger. The consequences—somewhat expected yet still horrific—are buffered by the visions into which the 13-year-old escapes. Sharp-witted, strong, curious and distrustful of any authority figure not living up to her standards—including God—Louisa May immerses us in her world with astute observations and wonderfully turned phrases, with nary a cliché to be found. She could be an adolescent Scout Finch, had Scout’s father died unexpectedly and her life taken a bad turn. Though her story is full of pathos and loss, her sorrow is genuine and refreshingly free of self-pity. She accepts that she and her mother are “like vinegar and soda, always reacting,” that her best friend has grown distant, and that despite the preacher’s condemnation, a young suicide victim should be sent “to the head of heaven’s line.” Her connection to the land—a presence as vividly portrayed as any character—makes her compassionate but tough; she’s as willing to see trees as angels as she is to join her brothers-in-law in seeking revenge. By necessity, Louisa May grows up quickly, but by her secret sense, she also understands forgiveness.

A quietly powerful story, at times harrowing but ultimately a joy to read.

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE:

SEEKING SARA SUMMERS
Literary fiction

Sara Summers Stanton has raised three children and works as a high school teacher at the same school she attended growing up. Her 25 year marriage is showing cracks in the facade and now she's dealing with breast cancer. In a rare moment of taking care of herself instead of everyone else, Sara takes a sabbatical and goes on the trip to Italy she has always dreamed of taking. This search for a more authentic life leads to Julia, a friend she hasn't seen since they were inseparable as girls, nearly 30 years earlier. They reunite in Florence and their friendship continues where they left off, resulting in an unexpected attraction to one another that threatens to turn Sara's already shaky world upside down. What do you do if you fall in love with your best friend? Sara's inner conflict and subsequent choices reveal an unpredictable yet dynamic future for all the characters. Seeking Sara Summers is an emotional and lyrical novel, a timeless story about love, commitment and transformation.

Published:
ISBN: 0615222072
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