Chasing Lilacs: A Novel

Chasing Lilacs: A Novel

by Carla Stewart
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Chasing Lilacs: A Novel by Carla Stewart

It is the summer of 1958, and life in the small Texas community of Graham Camp should be simple and carefree. But not for twelve-year-old Sammie Tucker. Sammie has plenty of questions about her mother's "nerve" problems. About shock treatments. About whether her mother loves her.
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 California whose own troubles plague him, or her round-faced neighbor with gentle advice and strong shoulders to cry on. Then there's the elderly widower who seems nice but has his own dark past.
Trusting is one thing, but accepting the truth may be the hardest thing Sammie has ever done.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446556552
Publisher: FaithWords
Publication date: 06/17/2010
Pages: 291
Sales rank: 963,706
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Carla Stewart's writing reflects her passion for times gone by, cherished relationships, and the mysteries of God in our skid-marked world. She and her husband have four adult sons and delight in the adventures of their six grandchildren.

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Chasing Lilacs 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Pattina More than 1 year ago
I received and early copy of this book and I couldnt put it down I read it in about 8 hrs. It was wonderfully written and gives you plenty to think abt. If you are looking for something without cuss words and violence then this is the book for you.
WildflowerMom More than 1 year ago
Fans of Ann Tatlock, Meg Moseley, Angela Hunt and Alice Wisler will enjoy this coming of age story set in late 1950's Texas. Love the writing style of this author! She pulls you right into the growing pains of a preteen girl named Sam, and the relationship with her troubled mom. All of the characters from the small oil town of Graham Camp add something to the story, and despite the hard times, leave you feeling hopeful that things really will turn out okay in the end, just like Sam's friend Tuwanna is always telling her. A few plot twists along the way keep things interesting, with some touching moments. Probably not for readers who like a squeaky clean story as there is smoking, mental health issues and a behind closed door adult situation mentioned, although sensitively.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Her BFF, Tuwana, wants nothing more than to spend the summer practicing to be a cheerleader as they prepare to enter Junior High next year. Her hopes are to make the squad and be one of the football players girlfriends. Isn't that what all cheerleaders do? Sammie's life isn't the easiest for any 12 year old, who lost her sister Sylvia in a blizzard when she was an infant. Since then her mother hasn't been the same and Sammie finds herself wondering if her mother really loves her at all anymore. Her mother spends the days in her old bathrobe, popping pill after pill, hoping to rejoin the family once more. Sammie finds it her responsibility to care for her mom, while her dad rotates from day shifts to graveyards shifts at his job at the oil refinery. What Sammie really wants is to have her old mom back again. The mom who used to bake cookies and brownies with her. Stay up late talking about everything. Yet the story is about to take a tragic turn and Sammie suddenly will question everyone who has been a part of her life and wonder if her life is really worth it after all. I received this heartwarming book, compliments of Hachette Book Groups, Faith Words division, and found it tearful and mesmerizing at times. It's easy to put yourself in Sammie's shoes and see life from her perspective. You see her struggle with trying to be a 12 year old enjoying her summer and the adult trying to take care of her mom. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a wonderful and fantastic summer read. For more information about the book, the author and where to purchase a copy, please click on the links below. You can even get a sneak peek at the first chapter which will hook you from page one. This book is available in paperback and eBook formats. <a href=""></a> To make this a great summer giveaway, Hachette Book Groups is allowing me to giveaway 5 copies of this wonderful book. This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only. No P.O. Boxes, please. Here are the rules for entering this giveaway, be a follower of mine, and tell me about one great summer memory of yours. The giveaway will end on June 30th. To visit my blog, go to
SarahSundin More than 1 year ago
Breathe in the scent of Chasing Lilacs-nostalgic, yet fresh and real. Carla Stewart has a delicious way with words, and her characters and story are gripping and touching. This is a book to share with friends over coffee and dessert. But your friends will have to buy their own copies because you won't want to let go of yours.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1958 in Graham Camp, Texas, twelve years old Sammie Tucker's mother Rita suffers from nerves. Sammie hopes to become a writer, but needs a typewriter. She actually has a boyfriend, loose definition, in California teenage transplant Cly MacLemore; though her best friend Tuwana Johnson likes the cool cat more than she does. 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. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a early copy of this book through a Christian book club I joined. I LOVE this book. It kept my attention and I'm sure someone could relate to the events in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very, very good book!!!
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Set in 1958, in Graham Camp, Texas, a small "town" set up for the workers of the local petroleum company. Life should be good but young Sammie Tucker doesn't understand her mother's "nerve problems" or why her mother rarely gets out of bed or lives in her housecoat. When her mother is sent away for shock treatments this twelve year old life changes forever. She doesn't know who she can trust, who she can talk to or how to deal with all the feelings she is having. Her best friend "knows" and has an opinion on everything. A new boy moves to town from California but has a lot of his own baggage. The woman next door is always there for Sammie with a hug and there is an older man that is very understanding but he has some secrets of his own. One of Sammie's teachers tries to get her to open up but Sammie doesn't know much she can really share. She does know that her aunt is up to no good and Sammie doesn't not trust her at all. She questions her mother's love and while dealing with all the normal adolescent growing issues she has to face some very adult things that no child should have to deal with. When I first started reading this book I thought it was a young adult coming-of age story. Well before the end of the first chapter I knew I was wrong about that. This is a story with a real adult issue, depression, seen through the eyes of a wonderful twelve year old. Back in the 50's it was called "nerve problems" and shock treatments with horrendous side effects were the treatment. Carla Stewart has written a heart breaking and heart warming novel that will stick with you long past the final word. It is so well written you feel invested in Sammie's life immediately and find yourself wishing you could climb into the pages and help her through the rocky journey she is taking. This is marketed as Christian Fiction but it has a very subtle Christian references so if that type of fiction is not your genre don't let it keep you from reading this wonderful story. Take some time to stop and smell the lilacs. This is definitely an author to watch, she has a voice that tells tough stories with passion. I can't wait to read her next novel Broken Wings. Find out more at Carla's web page. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Faith Words, Hachette Book Group, in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are entirely my own. I am stating this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255. "Guides Concerning Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising"
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HeidiMain More than 1 year ago
I 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 that's 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!
AnneKRiley More than 1 year ago
The simplicity of life in the 1950s really wasn't as simple as it may seem to those of us who didn't live during that time. That generation didn't have many of the distractions we deal with now, but people were the same as they are now, each with his own secret that adds to the person that he is. And despite a person's secrets, God is still in control. This is what I learned from seeing Sammie's story unfold through her own eyes. 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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A path next to the nursery leads off to a stone wall just outside of camp. A crack in that wall leads into a cave, with plenty of room to keep sick cats and herbs. A small stream also runs through it. There is a little hole in the ceiling that allows just enough light to see. This is the medicine cat den.