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Chasing Lilacs: A Novel Paperback – June 17, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"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
More About the Author
Her debut novel, Chasing Lilacs, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, was an Oklahoma Book Award Finalist, the trophy winner for the 2011 Best Fiction Book for Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and received 2nd place honors in RWA's Inspirational Readers Choice Award for 2011. Carla loves to hear from readers and invites you to contact her and learn more about her writing at www.carlastewart.com.
Top Customer Reviews
What I really liked about Chasing Lilacs is when I was done reading about Sammie Tucker, I wished I could call the author up on the telephone and talk about the characters as if they were real people. Stewart skillfully entertained and engaged me with each character's personal pain, coping skills and sometimes unpredictable behavior in a community she brilliantly portrays with the belief that it takes a village to raise a child. Just when I thought I had figured out the next twist, Stewart surprised me with the unexpected, which kept me reading until the very end.
Similar to the writings of J. D. Salinger in the Catcher in the Rye, without the profanity, Stewart's themes and symbolism evoked many questions for future discussion. I found myself returning to read certain passages over and over, only to discover another theme or symbol to mull over. A welcomed benefit is the discussion questions at the end that encouraged me to come up with unlisted questions for further discussion.
Chasing Lilacs is a great read for the high school or college level classroom, as well as the young adult heart.Read more ›
Sammie's world collapses when her depressed mom commits suicide. As she nears her thirteenth birthday, Sammie wonders who she can depend on when people you love leave you by yourself. Family members and Cly try to be there for Sammie, but her mom was everything to the depressed grieving child.
This is a strong historical tale as several cast members struggle with personal issues. Sammie cannot move on beyond her mother's death as she wonders if her crazed late mom ever loved her. Cly has parental issues too as his frustrated dad dumps him on relatives hoping the teen straightens out from being a delinquent. Other cast members have problems that haunt them too. Chasing Lilacs is a poignant look at residents of a small Texas town during the Eisenhower era; as everyday people strain to overcome problems; ironically Sammie's mother did just that selfishly leaving behind trauma for her family especially her daughter.
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!
Chasing Lilacs is promoted as a coming of age novel, but it is so much more than that. Sammie Tucker faces the typical problems of a twelve year old girl, brought on by the onset of adolescence. She's entering junior high, her body is changing, her best friend is changing, and a boy is interested in her. But her real problems supersede these issues. When her mother commits suicide, an aunt she doesn't know or like comes to live with her and her father.
Everyone says Aunt Vadine is out to marry Sammie's father and become her new mother. Sammie wonders if her mother loved her, but she does know she doesn't want her aunt around. While she grieves, Aunt Vadine strips away each piece of her mother Sammie has left.
Sammie tells her story in a first person narrative that draws her readers into her life. As I read Sammie's story, I remembered my adolescence and responded as if I were her best friend. I felt her pain and confusion; I became angry at the injustice she faced and I urged her to take control and do something about it.
Although the book is about a young teen, it's not adolescent lit. And although it reveals her inner life, there is enough happening in her small town to keep the story moving. One of the things I loved about the book is the setting. Sammie says that Graham Camp isn't even a dot on the map.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the second book I have read by Carla Steward, and I enjoyed both. I can't say enough positive things about her stories. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Donna Bolk
This book was so amazing...especially for a first release by this author. I loved the characters, so believable. Mrs. Stewart set the book in Texas, which I love dearly. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Annette Ohare
Also deserves a second read Many things come in to focus the second time through. Good character studies.Published 10 months ago by geniel christian
Chasing Lilacs is set in the Texas Panhandle in the1950s. The characters are believable and true to life. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Elaine Littau
Chasing Lilacs was a amazing book by Carla Stewart taken place in a small Texas community. Sammie is troubled with the thought of her mother not loving her. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Yasuko
I couldn't put this book down. I loved the first person perspective, and I am old enough to also identify with the time period the book was written in... Read morePublished on November 18, 2013 by Toobusygranny
This is one of those books I read, closed after the last page and said 'Wow!. Carla Stewart's debut novel offers not only masterly turned prose, it features an impressive plot... Read morePublished on May 31, 2013 by Noelle the Dreamer
I didn't know anything about this book and so was surprised that it was kind of depressing. Even with the hard subjects involved: suicide, death of mother, teenage angst, I still... Read morePublished on May 19, 2013 by Laura C