I work in a competitive field–or actually, many competitive fields (theatre, writing, academia). Yet, I’ve never been good at the competition thing. I believe in giving helping hands to people, and encouraging them to achieve their dreams.
In particular, I believe that women need to help women. In a world which is still ruled by patriarchy–it makes sense that we help each other, support each other, respect each other. Sadly, that doesn’t happen often. I’ve run into many women who push other women down when they feel threatened. I’ve been hurt by several of them, and I never understood why. I just want to do good work. I’m not out to steal anyone’s glory.
I don’t want to be one of those women. I try to push away jealous moments and give encouragement whenever I can. I want to support the dreams of others, even if it makes my own chances of rising to the top more difficult.
To that end, I have decided to celebrate the other women who made the Sarton Literary Award shortlist by reading and reviewing their books here. After all, if I can’t use the P.O.W.ER of my own words to help other people find readers, then maybe I should rethink my philosophies.
This may take time, as I am having trouble finding some of the books, and can’t afford to buy them all right away–plus the fact that I should be focusing on my WIP right now–but I hope to have all the books read and reviewed before the winners are announced.
Without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Stella Rose, by Tammy Flanders Hetrick.
This novel spoke to my heart on so many levels. The basic premise, taken from the book description is this:
Upon Stella Rose’s death, her best friend, Abby, moves to rural Vermont to take care of her sixteen-year-old daughter, Olivia. But Abby struggles to connect with Olivia and she soon finds guardianship of a headstrong teenager daunting beyond her wildest misgivings . . .
Perhaps it’s because I am about to face life with a teenager (my daughter turns 13 in less than a month), or that I’ve been thinking a lot about the meaning of friendship, love, and how we create our lives–but this book had me laughing and crying and traveling on an intense emotional journey with lessons to learn. It has messages for those who don’t trust; for those who fear love; for those who feel alone. It explores the complexities of parenting, of mother-daughter relationships, and of how far people can/should go for friendship and the people they love. It does all of that, while telling a wonderful story, in a rich and vibrant location (boy do I miss Vermont now), through complex and interesting characters. Truly a wonderful read. Add it to your list.
Also, wander over to Tammy’s website. She celebrates friendship and loves writing letters–a passion that I’ve written about as well. (Maybe it is time to write a few more letters to people). Sounds pretty cool to me.
What will you be reading next?