Local author Susan Kietzman will launch her new novel, The Summer Cottage, at Bank Square Books in Mystic on Thursday evening, May 28th, at 5:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public; copies of the book will be available for purchase/signing. Location: 53 W. Main St.
Today, Hartford Books Examiner welcomes Susan Kietzman.
Ms. Kietzman is the author of The Summer Cottage (Kensington Publishing, $15.00). Her previous novels include The Good Life and A Changing Marriage. She graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in English and from Boston University with an M.S. in journalism. Ms. Kietzman has written for magazines, newspapers, and corporations, and taught English composition at two community colleges; she also writes grant proposals for the Mystic Seaport Museum. The author makes her home in Mystic.
Praise for The Summer Cottage:
“Beautifully written and closely observed, THE SUMMER COTTAGE captures the deep and complicated love of family. Reading this lovely novel, I felt the embrace of summer on the shoreline.”—Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author.
From the publisher:
Spanning two summers decades apart, Susan Kietzman’s poignant new novel explores the complexities of the people—and places—that shape our lives…
Helen Street spent every summer of her childhood at her family’s cedar-shake cottage on Long Island Sound. The youngest of four, she shared her mother Claire’s athletic genes and relished the orchestrated games and competitions that filled those warm, endless days. Unlike her older siblings—fiery Charlotte, ambitious Thomas, middle-child Pammy—Helen rarely felt the pressure of her mother’s high expectations.
Thirty years later, with her brother and sisters scattered, Helen is the sole caregiver for Claire, now terminally ill. Knowing her death is imminent, Claire has put Helen in the awkward position of telling the others that she plans on leaving everything, including the cottage, to Helen when she dies—unless everyone comes to the shore for a long weekend over the Fourth of July. During this time together, Helen, Charlotte, Pammy, and Thomas will revisit their long-ago decisions and assumptions. And they will face new choices that could shatter their fragile kinship—or reveal a family’s extraordinary power to remember, to forgive, and to grow…
Now, Susan Kietzman reveals a few pages from the book of her life …
1) As a child, did you wear your literary lust loud and proud or were you a closet bibliophile?
When I was a child, most of my books came from the library. I loved carrying around library books almost as much as reading them because I was continually pleased to be deemed worthy enough to borrow them.
2) What book(s) were you likely to be caught keeping company with under the covers?
When I was in the third or fourth grade, I loved the Alfred Hitchcock Three Investigator series. I also liked Harriet the Spy back then, so I must have fancied myself to be a bit of a detective. I do remember booby trapping my closet with a string of old license plates, so that I would know if an unsavory character was in there when I was trying to go to sleep.
3) What are you reading currently & what is your initial impression?
I am reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, the recent recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. I do not seek out literature about World War Two, and this novel has not changed my mind about that. But the writing is very, very good. His research is meticulously thorough, and his descriptions are both fresh and accurate – which is harder to do than it might seem.
4) What one book do you always recommend when asked?
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. If you haven’t read it, do so.
5) Which of your own books would you suggest to readers & why?
Because The Summer Cottage is set in a beach community, and we are moving into beach season, I might suggest readers start here. My novels are not serial, however, so readers can start wherever they’d like. If you want to read about how the affluent life of a Midwestern woman and her family get turned around by a visit from her parents, check out The Good Life. If you’re wondering what might be happening in your marriage or long-term relationship, read A Changing Marriage.
6) Is there a book or author that readers would be surprised to know you’ve read and liked?
As a member of a library book group, I read the book Erasure by Percival Everett. I would not have found it on my own, and it was brilliant.
7) Who is the one author that would, or did, make you weak in the knees upon meeting?
I’m not sure if I’d get weak in the knees, but I think meeting Donna Tartt would be a trip!
8) Has there been an “I’ve made it” moment in your career?
No – and I don’t think I will ever be able to say that. It takes a hefty amount of confidence to be able to utter these words. And as a writer, I’m not even close.
9) What is your greatest literary ambition?
For people to read and enjoy my work.
10) Fill in the blank: Hartford Books Examiner is _____ …
With thanks to Susan Kietzman for her generosity of time and thought.
Don’t forget: The author will appear at Bank Square Books in Mystic this Thursday evening, May 28th, at 5:00 p.m.