WINNER Fiction: Literary Fiction: Religious 2023 Best Book Awards
WINNER Coming of Age 2023 American Fiction Awards
Casey Cohen, a Middle Eastern Jew, is a sixteen-year-old in New Orleans in the 1970s when she starts hanging out with the wrong crowd. Then she gets in trouble and her parents turn her whole world upside down by deciding to return to their roots, the Orthodox Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn.
In this new and foreign world, families gather weekly for Shabbat dinner; parties are extravagant events at the Museum of Natural History; and the Marriage Box is a real place, a pool deck designated for teenage girls to put themselves on display for potential husbands. Casey is at first shocked by this unfamiliar culture, but after she meets Michael, she’s enticed by it. Looking for love and a place to belong, she marries him at eighteen, believing she can adjust to Syrian ways. But she begins to question her decision when she discovers that Michael doesn’t want her to go to college; he wants her to have a baby instead.
Can Casey integrate these two opposing worlds, or will she have to leave one behind in order to find her way?
WINNER Fiction: Literary 2023 International Book Awards
More accurately a love triptych than triangle, The Femme Fatale Hypothesis is the story of one spring in 2015 when three people form intimate bonds forged in the fires of their respective tribulations. As Rose Geddes's lung cancer progresses toward its inexorable end and her husband's ability to care for her diminishes, their widowed neighbor, June Danhill, stumbles into the middle of their intersecting crises. June's only son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren have recently moved to the West Coast. She embraces the opportunity to distract herself from her loneliness by helping to care for the Geddeses. But it isn't long before June realizes that Rose wants more from her than she is willing to give. Love and loss, family secrets, visiting vultures, the Memorial Park boys, a long-forgotten keepsake, morphine versus fentanyl, and the sexual cannibalism of the false garden mantid all fuel this psychological thriller that tests the thin line between mercy and murder.
WINNER Cross-Genre General Fiction Literary Fiction 2023 American Fiction Awards
Elijah Campbell is on the verge of losing his writing career, his faith, and his marriage when a recurring childhood nightmare drives him back to his hometown, Bradford's Ferry. There, his encounters with loved ones both past and present shed light on the reason his wife left him―and the meaning of his nightmare. However, beyond the light he begins to glimpse something even more terrifying―a decision he must make...to continue hiding the secrets of his past or unhide the only thing that can save his marriage: himself.
In psychologist Kelly Flanagan's non-fiction works (Loveable, True Companions), he drew from clinical insight to explore the spiritual depths of identity and relationships. Now, in this debut novel, he weaves a page-turning and plot-twisting tale that brings new life to those insights, along with fresh revelations about personal growth, spiritual transformation, and the dynamics of interpersonal relationships.
This visit to Bradford's Ferry will linger long after the final page has been turned, and a guide for group discussion invites further conversation about the story's themes of healing, grace, faith, forgiveness, and freedom.