Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart

Chasing Lilacs is an impressive debut novel for author Carla Stewart. The author takes us back to 1958 and puts us in a small Texas community, and into the mind and heart of Sammie Tucker, an almost thirteen-year-old girl.

Life isn’t as simple as you think it must have been “back then.” Sammie’s mother suffers with mental issues, and when she commits suicide, Sammie’s world is filled with loss and confusion. Then her disgruntled aunt shows up to help “care” for Sammie, and things get even messier. It’s a good thing that 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.

Although Sammie is a young teen, I became totally involved with the character. This story 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.

Chasing Lilacs touches on the subject of mental illness and shock treatments. Not necessarily a happy topic. But is also 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.

This book is very well written. I’m looking forward to reading Carla Stewart’s next release.

This summer, I encourage you to read Chasing Lilacs.

Carla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. She believes in Jesus, the power of the written word, and a good cup of coffee. She and her husband have four adult sons and a delight in the adventures of their six grandchildren. Chasing Lilacs is her first novel.

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  1. Thanks, Dawn, for a lovely review. I'm always a bit nervous when I see a new one pop up, but you've brought a smile to my heart today.


  2. You're most welcome! :-D


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