Monday, August 25, 2014

What is Courtney Miller Santo reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Courtney Miller Santo, author of Three Story House.

Her entry begins:
A few months ago, I decided that I didn’t have enough variety in the books I picked out. So to challenge myself, I try to read one popular fiction, one classic, one poetry and one nonfiction book each month. I stash them all over the place so I’m always reading different ones at different times. The poetry book is always in my purse and the classic by my bed.

I’ve already finished Townie, which was my nonfiction pick for the month. I took it with me to my twenty-year high school reunion and had devoured it by the time I returned home. Andre Dubus wrote one of my all time favorite short stories (“Fat Girl”) and I’d loved Andre Dubus III’s House of Sand and Fog when I read it in college. Townie is a memoir about growing up with a father who is a writer and also about the intersection of poverty and violence. I read some of the boxing chapters through...[read on]
About the book, from the publisher:
Renovating an historic Memphis house together, three cousins discover that their spectacular failures in love, career, and family provide the foundation for their future happiness in this warm and poignant novel from the author of The Roots of the Olive Tree that is reminiscent of The Postmistress, The Secret Life of Bees, and Kristin Hannah’s novels.

Nearing thirty and trying to avoid the inescapable fact that they have failed to live up to everyone’s expectations and their own aspirations, cousins and childhood best friends Lizzie, Elyse, and Isobel seek respite in an oddly-shaped, three-story house that sits on a bluff sixty feet above the Mississippi.

As they work to restore the almost condemned house, each woman faces uncomfortable truths about their own failings. Lizzie seeks answers to a long-held family secret about her father in her grandmother’s jumble of mementos and the home’s hidden spaces. Elyse’s obsession with an old flame leads her to a harrowing mistake that threatens to destroy her sister’s wedding, and Isobel’s quest for celebrity tempts her to betray confidences in ways that would irreparably damage her two cousins.

Told in three parts from the perspective of each of the women, this sharply observed account of the restoration of a house built out of spite, but filled with memories of love is also an account of friendship and how relying on each other’s insights and strengths provides the women a way to get what they need instead of what they want.
Learn more about the book and author at Courtney Miller Santo's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Roots of the Olive Tree.

My Book, The Movie: The Roots of the Olive Tree.

My Book, The Movie: Three Story House.

Writers Read: Courtney Miller Santo.

--Marshal Zeringue