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|1. Author Interview||N/A||Album Only|
Number of Pages: 304
Publication Date: 2010
|Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.25 (inches)|
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
Trusting is one thing, but accepting the truth may be the hardest thing Sammie has ever done.
Stewart writes in a simple way that takes readers back to the late 50s. Her use of dialect and slang pulls readers into the story and makes the characters even more realistic. Chasing Lilacs is full of characters who both intrigue and disgust us. Some, such as Mrs. Gray, will delight readers, whereas others, such as Aunt Vadine, will anger and appall readers. The whole spectrum of human emotion is wonderfully portrayed in the inhabitants of Graham Camp, and each character has a lesson to offer readers.
As problem after problem buffets young Sammie, she begins to find herself asking questions shed never thought about before: Is she somehow responsible? Does Mama really love her? How could Mama fail her like this? Can she trust anyone? Sammie must struggle to answer these questions herself, since Mama cant help her anymore. The verse Matthew 7:7, which says, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you, haunts her as she attempts to move on with her life. What was Mama trying to tell her with this verse, and is God trustworthy enough to handle all her problems? One thing is for certain: Sammie has a lot of asking and seeking to do.
Chasing Lilacs is a great book for preteen to early teenagers, especially girls. Readers will laugh and cry along with Sammie and her friends and will remain interested until the very last page. Theres enough mystery and intrigue in Graham Camp to satisfy even the most skeptical of readers. Carla Stewart has done a great job of presenting biblical truths from a fun and creative perspective. Sarah Sawicki, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
"This first-person narrative contains resolute characters and vivid descriptions of a small Texas community in the 1950's. If her debut is any indication, Stewart has a promising future."Romantic Times
"Prepare to laugh, cry, and pray as you inhale each poignant word of this stunning debut novel. Simply unforgettable!"Patti Lacy, author of An Irishwoman's Tale, 2008 Forward Magazine Book of the Year Finalist, and What the Bayou Saw
"CHASING LILACS is the kind of coming of age story that sticks to you beyond the last page. Unforgettable characters, surprising plot twists, and a setting so southern you'll fall in love with Texas. Carla Stewart is a new talent to watch!"Mary E. DeMuth, author of Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn
"Carla Stewart writes a tender story with such emotional impact, you will hope, fear, cry, and rejoice with her characters. Readers will find themselves cheering Sammie on through her ordeals as she seeks love and forgiveness."Janelle Mowery, author of Love Finds You in Silver City, Idaho
"Stewart's book CHASING LILACS was a delightful read . . . It'll warm your heart."Jodi Thomas
Carrie Turansky5 Stars Out Of 5August 18, 2010Carrie TuranskyCarla Stewart's debut novel gives us a delightful look into life in Graham Camp, Texas, in the late 1950's. The main character, Sammie Tucker, is a young teenager who is facing some serious family struggles. Sammie's search to understand what's happening and how to deal with it is a riveting story that will stay in your heart long after you finish the last page. I will look forward to reading Carla Stewart's next book.
Chanda Mercer5 Stars Out Of 5July 30, 2010Chanda MercerI read this book on a vacation to Jamaica and couldn't put it down. I was on an emotional rollercoaster, but I loved this book. I look forward to reading more books by this writer!
Heidi MainCary, NCAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5July 16, 2010Heidi MainCary, NCAge: 45-54Gender: femaleI found this novel very emotional. The main character, Sammie, is a twelve year-old girl who is deep and thoughtful and has adult problems. Problems no kid should have to deal with, yet I think thats why, as a reader, I connected with Sammie.The very first chapter reeled me into the story. Those first few pages made the book and enticed me with the characters and the plot. Carla set the scenes nicely I felt like I was back in my own childhood, the same scents and touches that I remember from growing up. The chapters ended with a solid hook, urging me to continue to read. An awesome debut novel!
Thirza Peevey5 Stars Out Of 5July 9, 2010Thirza PeeveyI hesitate to review this one, as the author has been a friend for some years. When you review a friend, it is easy to be either too hard on them or too easy on them because of the friendship. But friend or no, this book completely knocked my socks off. I knew Carla could write, but I had no idea she could write like this. She had me in tears in the first ten pages. I was completely humbled by a gift for writing that could get you that completely invested in her characters that quickly, and keep you that invested right up until the last page. The problems Sammie faces make the book relevant for teens, but Carla's immense gift for drawing you into the life of the oil camp of the fifties makes it relevant for older folks as well. I suspect this one is going to be a classic, along the lines of To Kill a Mockingbird or Cold Sassy Tree, but without dipping into the same overused well of the post-reconstruction South. It wraps you in the same warm feeling of coming of age in a small community, well drawn characters and tight plot that delves into something that you possibly don't want to think about. Don't miss it. And if you have the chance to get Carla to sign it, don't miss that either. I suspect that autograph may be worth something in the future.
Kim5 Stars Out Of 5June 23, 2010KimIts 1958, and in the corner of the Texas panhandle is a tiny town called Graham Camp. Sammie Tucker, not quite thirteen, is about to face some fierce storms in her life, and her entire world will never, ever be the same again. Chasing Lilacs is Carla Stewarts debut novel, and the bittersweet flavor of its story will linger in my heart for quite some time.There is something important about coming-of-age stories that reveal basic truths about the human condition. Sammie Tucker experiences more in the span on one year than any child should ever experience in a lifetime. Yet her resiliency is believable and her character is filled with a hunger for truth and substance that keeps her moving forward with purpose and hope. My heart ached for this child the entire story, and even now, after Ive read the final pages, Sammies character haunts me.Stewart creates a VERY realistic pre-teen, and her struggles are those of every child on the brink of adulthood. She is forced to deal with some very hard and painful situations within her family, and her childhood friends both help and hinder her as she navigates the tumult that surrounds her. There are even some unexpected plot twists that only serve to enhance this beloved story, and the ending is completely satisfying without tying things up too neatly.Chasing Lilacs gives me every reason to hope that we will be reading much more of Carla Stewarts writing. Young adults, and old adults alike will be touched and entertained by this wonderful debut novel!