Come Back is the debut novel of Sally Crosiar which I’ve had the pleasure of reading over the last couple of weeks and what a joy it has been. After reading the book I was able to interview Sally and write an honest review of her book which you will find at the end of this post. All answers are in her own words.
About the Author
( Copied from About Author page) Sally Crosiar lives in the Finger Lakes of New York State where she reads incessantly, enjoys time in and on the water, savors dark chocolate with red wine at every opportunity, and teaches about health and play for Empire State College. She is the author of Find the Love of Your Life, based on her own true story, My Uncle Dave, a children’s book with an adult message, and co-author with Dr. Sidney B. Simon of Love Builders Tools to Build Every Relationship. Come Back is her debut novel.
The Synopsis of Come Back
What if you ran away from home at 17? Would you want to go back? Vi Masters would rather eat nails. But what if your aunt begs you to perform at her 60th birthday bash? She cared for you like neither of your parents ever did. And something about her voice on the phone seems off? Vi can’t say no. How bad can three days be? She can act like she has no secrets for that long, can’t she? What if you’ve fretted about why your kid ran away and you hadn’t seen or heard from her in ten long years?
What if you know tongues are wagging again all over town – this time about why she’s staying with her aunt and not you? Ben Johansen worries the girl will shame him again before he can make her say why she left. What if you’ve schemed and plotted to get, the perfect life? But your stepdaughter could take it all away? Would you be scared? Tammy Johansen is. Down to her bones. What if Ben finds out why Vi ran, and that Tammy has always known? She’s built her life around loving Ben. What if he won’t forgive her? What then?
What if the girl you worked so hard to get over waltzes into the diner where you’re having breakfast? What if you know you should hate her for the suspicion her disappearance rained down on you? But you can’t? What if you know neither of you, are the same people you were? Would you still want her? Nate Barlow does. Against his better judgment. What if you and Nate pinky-swore to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Would you keep your oath and risk your last drop of hope? Of all the questions Vi faces when she comes back to Freedom, Iowa, this might be the biggest? Three days? It’s no ride on a pink duck.
Sally Crosiar’s book Come Back was a fun, quick read that I enjoyed immensely and I do have to say I was intrigued after reading the blurb before I even started reading the book.
When I began the book, it took me a few pages to get into the country swang of the characters. But within minutes I was easily able to detect the accent in the writing.
The story takes place in the small town of Freedom, Iowa, where everyone seems to know everyone’s business. Living in a small town myself, the way Crosiar described the town and the way she portrayed it to the reader was spot on.
One aspect of books that I tend to like; are short chapters. I soon lose interest with stories that have long drawn out chapters. If I have to count the pages to the next chapter, the story is losing me. I was pleased to see Come Back had short chapters, keeping me engaged. I liked how each chapter was written in the 1st person by each character. Going in depth about their thoughts, why they did what they did and their reasoning. Each chapter clearly showed the voice and personality of the character. As the reader, this method worked. I felt like these people were my neighbors. I got to know them really well.
I don’t want to give any spoilers in my review, but I do want to mention that one of the characters – Sadie hit close to home. What she’s going through, I’m experiencing with my mother and it’s tough. Her character gave me an essence of sadness and how Crosiar portrays her illness couldn’t be any more perfect.
The book is a page-turner with many surprises that kept me wanting to know more. I was, however, able to predict the ending, but that’s okay. Crosiar answered many questions with detailed answers and covered a lot of history about the characters before getting to that point.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In fact, I was sorry to see it end. I wanted to know what was going to happen over the next three days. This is a book that won’t disappoint you. I highly recommend it. Thank you, Sally, for the awesome read.
COVER DESIGN 4 STARS – I loved the bright colors and the bold sunflower defiantly catches the eye. My only perk was, Sally’s name should have been more pronounced on the cover.
CHARACTERIZATION 5 STARS – After finishing the book, I felt like I’d known these characters for years. No complaints.
STORY & PLOT 5 STARS Enticing blurb which had me interested before I opened the book. The storyline was easy to follow, funny at times and grabbed the reader with many surprises.
OVERALL RATING 5 STARS
Interview with Sally Crosiar – Author of Come Back
I want to thanks Sally for taking the time to answer the questions. All the questions are in her own words, nothing has been changed
1 – How long have you been writing and why do you enjoy it?
Remember those fat pencils and the wide-lined paper from first grade? It strikes me to say I’ve been writing ever since. Certainly, writing served me well in academic and professional life. As someone once said in conversation, ‘if you can write, it proves you can think.’
I began thinking of myself as a writer when I published my first book, Find the Love of Your Life. Before then, I knew I could write. My sentence diagramming teachers and mother made sure of that. But with this book, I had something to say, a story my late husband and I felt would offer others hope. Ours was a unique love story. Aren’t they all? Alas, he died before the book was done – perhaps my biggest regret. But writing our story, tears dripping on the keyboard, helped me heal so I could love again. And with Dave’s spirit guiding me, I knew I could call myself a writer. Four books and counting!
Why do I enjoy writing? Is there a better way to play? Words are fun all on their own, and when you can string them together to bring a character to life, to dig deep into all the terrors and aspirations that propel her? Oh, baby, that’s fun!
2 – Other than writing, what else do you like to do?
Oh, so many things! I love the water – being in it, on it, looking at it. I love making something beautiful from shapes and colors – mostly beads and fiber, these days. I love seeing new places, trying new foods, connecting with friends and far-flung family, a full-bodied red wine on a winter evening.
But of all the things I love, the one I absolutely could not do without is reading. To disappear into a story, travel to other worlds, imagine living inside a character’s skin – reading is not just my pleasure. It’s my drug of choice.
3 – What inspired you to write “Come Back?”
A spontaneous challenge in our writer’s group inspired the story that led to Come Back. If I tell you the topic, I’d need to add a spoiler alert. I will say that it required me to imagine a life that no child ever says s/he wants to be when s/he grows up. This was my first real foray into fiction – and it was HARD! And because I found the process so challenging, the women in my story inhabited my brain until I wanted to understand what took them where they were – and what their future lives might be. Vi is one of those women, the one who became most real to me.
4 – Who as an author, inspires you and why?
As an early reader, I fell in love with Julie Campbell’s Trixie Belden. Here was a girl I wanted for a friend. Spunky, sassy, and way more fun than goody-goody Nancy Drew. When Trixie got in a scrape – which her headstrong self often did – she relied on her own wits and friends to save her hide, not her rich daddy or red roadster. Nancy was black and white, a flat paper doll. Trixie embodied three dimensions in technicolor. She fought with her brothers, harbored an unrequited crush, got in trouble! Was it any wonder I loved her?
I’m drawn to characters’ foibles and to smarts, a weakness for underdogs, steel. I want to hang out with technicolor people – on pages as well as in real life. Give me all three dimensions like Julie Campbell did and inspires me to do in my writing.
5 – Name three of your favorite books and authors. Explain why these are your favorites.
Only three? Yikes! Okay, but here’s my disclaimer. These are three for today, three I happen to think of now. Tomorrow, the list might be different – and I’d probably argue for at least five. Maybe ten or twenty.
- This Rough Magic, by Mary Stewart. Or anything that brilliant woman wrote. Smart, likable characters triumph over unexpected danger. Exotic locales, complex, suspenseful stories with romance that thrills even as it fades to black. I’ve read all her books over and over again – and consider them my friends.
- The Year of Pleasures, by Elizabeth Berg. I admire how Berg shines a light on ordinary lives and shows us that all lives are anything but ordinary. I turn the last page of her books with a satisfied sigh.
- Plainsong, by Kent Haruf. Here’s ordinary life again. The sense of place is tangible, the intertwining lives and the influence each has on the others is at once unexpected and heartwarming. I love Eventide and The Ties that Bind, too. His others are on my ever-growing TBR list.
6 – What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write. Don’t wait till you know how. Write. Don’t expect it to be good. Just write one bad page every day you can.
Seek and find others who write. Lean on them, learn from them, bolster them too. And read till your eyes bleed.
7 – Are you currently working on anything now? If so, tell us a little about it and when it can be expected to be available.
I’m about half-way through my second novel. This one is set where I grew up, the farm my great-great-grandfather homesteaded, and the house his son built. In the story, my heroine – not based on me – wants to keep the land in her family. We couldn’t, but in fiction, perhaps she can. Or maybe she won’t. I don’t know yet, but I do know the novel will be called Home Place.
When will it be available? Now there’s a question. I have little time to write till college classes break for summer, and then if I’m really disciplined, I might wrap up the first draft before classes resume again in the fall. Fingers crossed – except while typing.
8- What genre do you normally write in?
I’m most interested in relationships, the more fraught, the better. Family, romance, friendships, rivalries bristle with stories. Add them all together and I call it Women’s Fiction, for want of a better genre fit. I love it if someone else calls my work literary, but I’d feel pretentious if I were to do so.
9- Other than Amazon is there anywhere else, readers can purchase your book?
I keep a ready supply in the trunk of my car…
10- Do you have a website, Facebook page or any other social media page where readers can follow you? If yes, please provide links.
My website is under re-construction. I hope to get it functional again next month: www.healthypeoplelearn.com
You can follow me via my Facebook page, Sally Crosiar Books and More Creativity: https://www.facebook.com/sallycrosiarbooks/ at my blog www.healthypeoplelearn.wordpress.com, or at www.amazon.com/author/sallycrosiar.
11- Is there anything else you would like to say?
Just a big, big THANK YOU, TINA!
Thank you, Sally for allowing me to interview you, It has been a pleasure and I look forward to the next book.
You can buy Sally’s book here by clicking on the image below
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