Author: Susanna Daniel

Click Here To Purchase Stiltsville: A Novel

This is what I like the most, (as all my readers already know), because this is a debut novel.  I absolutely love it when new writers emerge on the scene, especially writers that improve the literary world with their beautiful stories.  That’s really the only way to “call” this novel…the writing was absolutely…beautiful.

 We begin in 1969, when Frances Ellerby travels from her home state of Georgia to attend a wedding in Miami.  Now, the wedding isn’t all that amazing, but the two people she meets at the event literally will change her entire life and her entire future.  Marse is a young woman who is Miami to the core; her spirit is as free as they come, and her tan is darker than that of a Native American who has lived their life under the blistering Arizona sun.  She loves boating, and the very first thing she does with her newfound friend is take her out into Biscayne Bay for her first look at the house on stilts in the middle of the sea.  When they arrive, there are two young men at the home, enjoying a gorgeous sun-drenched day.  One young man is named Dennis and Marse is extremely interested in him, divulging her hope to Frances that Dennis will eventually ask her to marry him.

 Of course, life never works out the way we think it will, and Dennis ends up asking Frances to be his bride.  As we move on through 1970, Dennis’s parents’ house is a “stop” for Frances, where she meets Gloria and Grady.  These are the people who truly love their son and want what’s best for him.  Frances loves Dennis immensely, and ends up losing her job in Atlanta because she is constantly taking off work in order to visit him in Miami.  Frances doesn’t really know if she has the “mettle” to live in such a “party place” for the rest of her life, and these scenes are very much an in-depth look at how a young woman deals with the future that seems to be coming at her like a rocket ship barreling out of control.  During this time, we also meet Dennis’s sister Bette.  Bette is one of these fun characters who don’t seem to like people half as much as she likes the house and boat she is the caretaker of; the Barnacle and a ship called The Egret.  These are her passions in life.  Not to mention a woman who she met at the “club" who's taking her diving into a shipwreck that was recently found.

 Each section of this marvelous story is broken up by years and decades.  Not only does the reader get a firsthand account of a life filled with questions, problems, happiness, anxieties, frustrations, and dreams – but the author also has wrapped the events of Frances’ life around very specific events that have happened in the United States during these time periods.  As the headlines grow worse in the world, the reader also gets the inside scoop of how Frances’ world is changing; how her marriage expands and contracts with each new heartbreak or happiness that invades her home life.  We get a look at a solid marriage that offers hope during the hard times, and even respect when loyalty seems to go out the window.  We also see Frances’ baby grow, and the bad and good things that happen to her along the way.

Again, the story is in a beautiful setting, and the author has a way of making the scenery come to life.  In fact, the descriptions at times are so breathtaking that you feel like you’re reading poetry from the “masters.”  This is a welcome debut from an author who, if she keeps writing like this, will be around for a long, long time to come.

  Click Here To Purchase Stiltsville: A Novel