I received a free copy for my honest review.
About the Book:
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. Despite her best efforts, and the help of friends old and new, she is unable to keep Olivia from self-destruction. As Abby’s journey unfolds, she grapples with raising a grieving teenager, realizes she didn’t know Stella as well as she thought, and discovers just how far she will go to save the most precious thing in her life.
About the Author:
Tammy Flanders Hetrick has been telling stories all her life, refining her skills at age ten through marathon tag-team storytelling with her best friend, honing her craft through decades of business writing, and ultimately finding joy in extracurricular creative writing. She has published short stories in Your Teen Magazine, Blue Ocean Institute’s Sea Stories, and Route 7 Literary Journal. In 2009 she was recognized with the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition’s Pioneering Woman Award for coaching and mentoring women in the workplace. Hetrick lives in Vermont with her husband of thirty years, their two cats, and a beagle/miniature bull mix. Her website is http://www.
Stella Rose opens with the funeral of the title character. Even though she is dead from the start Stella is ever present in the story. She asks her best friend Abby to care for her daughter Olivia – just until she enters college – as Stella knows she is dying from cancer and has always been the type to control things and people. Abby cannot say no even though she has no experience rearing children. Olivia’s father lives across the country with a new wife and while he loves his daughter, Olivia wants to finish her senior year of high school where she has been going to school.
Abby and Olivia try and adjust to the loss of such a central figure in their lives and to living with one another. Abby learns that Stella was not the woman she thought she was and she learns that teenagers don’t always tell the truth. Olivia has a very hard time without her mother and as much as Abby tries – she is not her mother. Abby is pushed further than she has ever been before by this young woman she loves as if she was her own if only Olivia would realize. Through it all Stella remains present even though she is no longer physically there.
I’ve been really lucky with my books lately – I’ve now had three in a row that were exceptional. This book is certainly out of my usual genre but I’m so glad that I read it. It drew me in from the beginning as the writing just seems to wrap itself around you and carry you right into the world created by the author. This usually only happens to me with historical fiction books by Ms. Hetrick’s writing did that for me in Stella Rose. I felt like I was sitting in the room with these characters, almost like I was a part of the family. It was hard to let go. I’ve kept it to read again because I suspect this is one of those books that will be better on a second reading.
Follow the Tour:
Celtic Lady’s Reviews: April 21, 2015
A Literary Vacation: April 23, 2015
Broken Teepee: review, April 24, 2015
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus: April 27, 2015
Life of a Female Bibliophile: April 28, 2015
I’m A Book Shark: May 1, 2015
Electively Paige: review, May 4, 2015
Under My Apple Tree: May 7, 2015
Celtic Lady’s Reviews: May 12, 2015
Centered on Books: May 16, 2015
Christiecote.com: May 20, 2015
Christiesbookreviews.com: May 21, 2015
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