Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Chasing Lilacs - A Review and a Giveaway
I read the book Chasing Lilacs last week in a frenzy of reading, something I rarely get to do anymore. The last two books I checked out at the library were sent back, one partially read, the other not even cracked open. Even though it's summer, I just don't seem to have time to read, but I'm so glad I took the time to slow down and enjoy this one. My sweet friend, Jeane Wynn, was so excited to share it with me and the excitement rubbed off on me as well!
Chasing Lilacs is the first book by Carla Stewart and she started out with a bang. I cannot wait to see what else she shares with us in the future! I was drawn into the story from the very beginning and was sad to see it end.
Sammie Tucker is nearly 13 and the year is 1958, a time when depression isn't spoken of other than in hushed tones, the Edsel is the height of automotive fashion and life in a small town isn't always easy. She's caught in that sweet, mystical age between being a girl and becoming a woman when her life is turned upside down by her mother's suicide attempt. But when her mama comes home from the hospital she is vigilant and determined that things stay normal and that Mama gets better. As the summer progresses life doesn't get easier and Sammie wonders if her mama ever loved her at all.
Not only is the main story engaging and enveloping, there are other subplots throughout the book that draw you in as well. From Sammie's best friend Tuwana's quest to become a cheerleader, Mrs. Johnson's new furniture and Mr. Johnson's new Edsel to the mysterious, somewhat dangerous, Cly who moved to Sammie's hometown from California, Goldie's birds and Sammie's Juicy Fruit-smacking Aunt Vadine there is no shortage of mystery, drama, humor and even sadness among the citizens of Graham Camp.
I found myself laughing and crying throughout the book. While I grew up a few years past the late 1950's, I still remember being nearly 13 and how friendships, relationships with family, school and even your own faith can be tumultuous and unpredictable. Sammie is a girl much like most of us who have at some point in our life been on the verge of putting away our dolls and putting on lip gloss. Every character in the book has a story and they all come together in such a way the whole thing will stay on your mind even after you read the last page.
And here's the best part of this whole entire blog post - I have a copy of the book to give away signed by Carla Stewart herself! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post to earn an entry. If you mention the giveaway on your own blog, tweet about it or post about it on Facebook you earn extra entries (You can post as often as you like, but only one entry is entered per day). Just send the links to any posts, updates or tweets to email@example.com and I'll take care of the rest. The drawing will be held on August 1st and the winner will be announced that evening.
**UPDATE** Okay, it's very apparent to those of you who have entered the giveaway (all three of you, God bless you) that I haven't drawn yet. I'm going to blame illness, stress, the end-of-summer frenzy when I realized "OH MY GOSH THE SUMMER IS OVER AND I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING IN MY HOUSE I WANTED TO".... among other things. So the drawing is now going to be on Thursday, August 12th and to make up for the delay I am adding another book to the giveaway - Love Finds You in Charm, Ohio by Annalisa Daughety. And those of you who have entered already, you're getting TWO extra entries as thanks for being patient. Thank you!