The simplicity of life in the 1950s really wasnt as simple as it may seem to those of us who didnt live during that time. That generation didnt have many of the distractions we deal with now, but people were the same as they are now, each with his own secret that adds to the person that he is. And despite a persons secrets, God is still in control. This is what I learned from seeing Sammies story unfold through her own eyes. Written in a voice that spoke to my heart, this novel pulled me in straight away. I so enjoyed learning about what life was like in the 1950s, and the characters instantly became alive in my mind--so much so, in fact, that I wish I could meet them. I felt their smiles, their tears, their frustrations... They became friends that I will definitely revisit. (And I want a sequel so I can find out what happens next in their lives!)Well done, Miss Carla! May God continue to bless your writing!
Breathe in the scent of Chasing Lilacsnostalgic, yet fresh and real. Carla Stewart has a delicious way with words, and her characters and story are gripping and touching. This is a book to share with friends over coffee and dessert. But your friends will have to buy their own copies because you wont want to let go of yours.
This gripping story is told from the point of view of a twelve-year-old, yet Carla Stewart resisted making her precocious and overly mature. Sammie's emotional journey and her reactions to the events in this story are true to life. While she faces some devastating experiences, the story remains remarkably light. The other people in Sammie's life are as complex and appealing as she is, except perhaps Aunt Vadine. I didn't like that woman one bit. Oh, don't get me wrong. She was very well written. So much so, I had a strong reaction to her. You'll lose some sleep if you read at night. This novel is a page-turner that I didn't want to end. Prepare to fall in love with Sammie and her friends. Chasing Lilacs is a thoroughly delightful and well-written debut novel. Novel Journey and I give it a very high recommendation.
Chasing Lilacs is a wonderful coming of age story about a girl learning to cope with so many things in life that she didn't understand...one being why her mother would take her own life, and the other wondering if her mother ever really loved her at all. As Sammie explores the issues her mother struggled with, she starts working through emotional challenges of her own. To make matters worse, her mother's sister moves in and tries to take over their home, which Sammie obviously resents. The endearing relationship Sammie had with Slim and with her boyfriend Cly were delightful to read about and were some of my favorite scenes. I enjoyed the setting and the many things that were classic to that time period, like the kids drinking Ovaltine. The way treatment for depression was described totally fit the time period they were in, too. Because of the details that gave the story an authentic 50s feel, I found myself totally engrossed in Sammie's world. The characters' troubles and heartache seemed real, as did their self-discovery and growth resulting from their pain. The characters were complex, making this novel a delightful read for me. I really felt bad for Sammie's father, and worried that he would make some wrong choices, too. In many ways this story reminded me of Mary DeMuth's Watching the Tree Limbs because it had similar themes and depth to it. Great debut novel!
Talk about incredible writing--I was captured by the first paragraph of Carla Stewart's Chasing Lilacs. She brought back to my own childhood as I fell in love with and rooted for Sammie Tucker. Life throws Sammie some mighty big problems and she survives with humor, a sometimes difficult bond with her best friend Tuwana, and the ability to accept the truth--a magnificent lesson for us all.