Chasing Lilacs

chasing-lilacsChasing Lilacs
by Carla Stewart

Coming of Age

In Chasing Lilacs, the author transports readers to a small Texas community in 1958 where they’re placed in the heart and mind of Sammie Tucker, an almost thirteen-year-old girl.

Sammie’s mother suffers with mental issues, and when she commits suicide, Sammie’s world is filled with loss and confusion. Her disgruntled aunt shows up to help care for Sammie, and things get even messier. Fortunately, Sammie has a loving father—not to mention other townspeople who look out for her. There’s her outspoken best friend, a new boy who comes to live with his uncle, and her mentors—the woman next door who raises birds, and an elderly widower who has his own secrets.

My review . . .

For writers, Chasing Lilacs is a good example of how to write a “coming of age” story.

Although Sammie is a young teen, I became totally involved with the character. The tale pulled me in emotionally, while it also provided surprising plot twists. I was whisked into nostalgia and a time when life was perhaps a bit slower, but the pace of the story kept me turning the pages.

The novel touches on the subject of mental illness and shock treatments. Not necessarily a happy topic. But this is an uplifting story of hope and forgiveness. It reminds us that even when we don’t initially see it, God is still in control and working on our behalf.

Submitted by a Christian Editor Network member.

carla-stewartCarla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. 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

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