Forty-one year old Dana Quinn, a closet writer, career waitress and three-time psych ward patient has just lost her last family member. For Dana to go on, she must create a life meaningful enough to answer her eternal question: why did she alone survive the accident that killed her family? That's a tall order for someone who's barely managed to exist. Never married, in and out of an institution where only her writing saved her, Dana works a dismal job with a few friends she's managed to keep at a safe distance.
Lost and hopeless in the weeks following Aunt Irma's unexpected death, Dana discovers a letter and takes her aunt's advice to walk away from her life in Queens and return to her family farm to write herself well one more time. For over thirty years Dana's believed the farm was sold and did her best to forget it. But what if everything in the house is frozen in time exactly the way they left it? Nothing can stop her from walking through that door. On the road she adopts a one-eared dog and finds a new best friend in Iowan-turned-New Yorker, Stu, who's given up designing off-Broadway sets to care for his ailing mother back in his tiny hometown.
Chokecherry, her father's beloved farm, is not at all what Dana expects and far more than she bargains for. By firelight, Malcolm reveals the cryptic history buried in the tunnel, and why the big barn strikes fear in the hearts of those who enter it. Despite its tragic past, the farm also possesses an undeniable capacity to heal the broken. In fact, it seems to be a magnet for broken hearts. Just as Dana and her friends form a tight bond and rise to the challenge of helping Chokecherry realize its true potential, a supernatural ability she's failed to repress for years, nearly kills her. Dana's forced to fight for a life she wants--a life that finally answers her eternal question in ways she never could've imagined.
A story that will take you through loss, uncertainty, second chances, hope and the special bond of friendship.
After a tragic car accident loosing her parents and siblings the young Dana leaves the cherished family farm to live with her Aunt Imra. In time the trauma sees her treated as an inpatient more than once to get her back to herself and she also uses her own talents to 'write herself well' by continuing her siblings life's through pen and paper. When her elderly aunt dies after falling down the stairs, secrets she has kept from Dana are told and she is encouraged to return to the farm she once knew as home.
Her journey see's her build in confidence and fate brings Dana and her soon to be best friend Stu together as well as her new furry loyal friend, one eared Slim (the dog). It's a reminder of how people can just enter into your life unexpectedly for a reason or a need and this is exactly what happens here. Dana comes alive when she is reaquanted with the family farm, although now sadly derelict, the memories still hold it together for her. The reunion with her neighbour Malcolm, who had continued to look after the place, gets off to a tricky start but you see it gradually blossom. Dana gets a second chance of life, freedom from the past memories and the weight of loss and a new reason to live. The three of them strive to create something magical and uplifting with the farm but will the farms tormented secret and their lack of money halt their plans?
Sheri has a unique ability to create a magical visual read purely by the talent of her writing as she describes life on the other side or spiritual life from within oneself, for myself personally I would have absolutely loved more of this in the story. It took the first couple of chapters to pull me into the story, having to re-read certain parts as it jumped around a little, but by no means do not let this put you off, it is well worth the read and by the end I was flicking those pages almost as fast as I was reading them. Once read you will find yourself thinking back fondly to the characters and the story.
This is a story is full of hope, reinvention and how you can take control in the opportunities of life if you would only let yourself. If your looking for a really nice enjoyable read and enjoy a beautiful drop of spiritual fiction wrote beautifully by the authors hand then this is the book for you.
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Sheri's Debut Book - Swallowtail
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