Sep 13, 2009

TSS: Seeking Sara Summers by Susan Gabriel

I am pleased to have Susan Gabriel, author of Seeking Sara Summers as my first author guest blogger. Here is an introduction note from Susan herself!

Thank you, Ivana, for asking me to introduce your review of my book. I am honored to be a part of your blog. It’s hard to remember what inspired me to write Seeking Sara Summers since I began writing it eight or nine years ago. How I usually get the ideas for my books is that a character shows up for me. I will start to hear their voice in my imagination. It’s almost like they come to me and tap me on the shoulder. So sometimes I think the story finds me, instead of the other way around.

I loved writing this book. I loved the characters. I loved their story. Sara is the main character and is at a crossroads in her life. She’s been married to the same guy for over twenty years. She’s raised three kids. She teaches at the same high school she attended herself. Life is pretty blah. Then she is diagnosed with breast cancer and it’s a wake-up call for her. She suddenly realizes that life has an expiration date and she doesn’t even know who she is. She goes to Italy to visit an old friend who she hasn’t seen for twenty years and things start to get interesting.

The primary message I’d like readers to take away from this book is that it’s never too late to jump-start a journey of self-discovery and that’s it’s never too late to surprise yourself. That change is possible. That authenticity rules! Everybody goes through periods in their lives where they question who they are and what they’re doing. I actually think this is healthy. Questioning the quality of your existence, your thoughts, your feelings, and attitudes is a high-level skill. But I think it’s well worth the time it takes to discover them.
I’m also thrilled when people email me and tell me how much they enjoyed the book. If it is a “good read” and captured their imagination for even a little while, I feel that I have done my job as a writer.

Susan, you have done an outstanding job! Here is the YouTube book trailer for Seeking Sara Summers.

When Sara decides to take a trip to Florence, Italy, it is much more than a flight across the ocean. Merely, it’s a journey to rediscover herself in one of the most beautiful places in the world. There is more to this trip than to visit a place she has always dreamed about, but pushed the desire aside in favor of every day’s tasks; it’s about finding yourself again. The physical journey is a transition of life, living life from the top of her lungs and continue life from a point where it was broken apart years ago. Faced with her own fragility after years of being a safe haven for her husband and her three kids, Sara learns that it is okay to take care of herself, and that finding love where least expected is one of the beauties life offers.

Susan describes Sara’s marriage in an outstandingly realistic way, with a strong voice of a woman who is tired of patching up cracks in the façade when the foundations are wrong. Though not many women will experience the type of love Sara does (falling in love with the woman who was her best friend), the romantic component would embarrass many romance writers with its strength and warmth. Even if I hadn’t been to Florence, Susan’s descriptions of it would make me feel as if I was there, sensing the warmth of the sun and the sweet taste of Italian wine.

Seeking Sara Summers has that certain page-turning factor that keeps you reading well into the night without even realizing it. The sentences flow one after the other smoothly, never making you feel like putting effort into reading-the story just flows. It is also one of those books that, after you finished reading them, you feel inclined to write to the author and thank her for the beautiful story she created. So, once again, Susan, thank you for giving me a chance to read your book and for being my guest!
You can find Susan online here.
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