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Looking for Mary Gabriel

A Novel

Carole Lawrence

Thomas Dunne Books

In the tradition of Carson McCullers, the author uses her own experience growing up with a mentally ill sister to pen this intensely moving novel. Set in the heart of the deep South, Looking for Mary Gabriel is the story of Bonita, a young girl who desperately wants her family to be normal, despite their strange behavior. Bonita's little sister, Mary, does not act like the other neighborhood kids, and Bonita vacillates between adoring her sister and hating her. Likewise, Bonita's mother is not exactly as warm and loving as one would hope a mother should be. And Bonita's father's motives are suspect to say the least. Almost inevitably, a tragic act of violence shatters the family forever.

As this exquisitely written novel opens, Bonita is preparing to bury her father and is looking back on a life that was shaped by secrets, madness, and lies. This is a novel that will be passed along from friend to friend, for Looking for Mary Gabriel captures perfectly the lonely young girl whose ultimate triumph over her unlucky past enriches all read of her.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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  Chapter One


October 1995


The pamphlet was called “Oranges.” It was small and slender, no bigger than a prayer book. I had designed it to fit in a shirt pocket or to be carried comfortably in the palm of the hand. The cover was a glossy photograph of a pair of plump oranges, vivid against a dark background of intensely glowing green leaves. The fifty pages within contained a brief history of the fruit, guidelines for its cultivation by home gardeners, and several dozen recipes. The printer had just delivered nineteen boxes of them; I was holding one when
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REVIEWS

Praise for Looking for Mary Gabriel

"As a coming-of-ager, the tale is quietly compelling... an evocative portrayal of Baton Rouge childhood." --Kirkus Reviews
"As a coming-of-ager, the tale is quietly compelling... an evocative portrayal of Baton Rouge childhood." --Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Carole Lawrence

  • Carole Lawrence was born in Alice, Texas, but spent her childhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the setting for Looking for Mary Gabriel. She studied music from a very early age, and received a B.A. with a major in music from Louisiana State University. She later moved to New Orleans, where she taught piano. Carole has attended the bread loaf writers' conference, the Vermont Studio Colony, and Ragdale, an artists'colony in Lake Forest, Illinois. She earned a Master's degree from the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College near Asheville, North Carolina. Looking for Mary Gabriel is her first novel. Carole and her husband currently live in the Woodlands, Texas. They have one adult son.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Looking for Mary Gabriel

A Novel

Carole Lawrence

  • e-Book

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Thomas Dunne Books

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