THE BOOKS: In Love With Spring, Volumes One & Two, and Three Sister Stories
PUBLISHED IN: July 2022
THE AUTHOR: Robin Stratton
THE PUBLISHER: Big Table Publishing Company
SUMMARY: A pop culture retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic coming of age story of four sisters learning about life and love in the decade of AIDS, MTV, big hair, and big dreams.
THE BACK STORY: As a little girl, I loved Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and I always wondered what they would be like if they had been born in the 60s, like me. The older I got, the more I wondered! So after I graduated from college, I decided to write that story: four sisters coming of age in the 1980s, beginning with the assassination of John Lennon, and dealing with issues like anorexia, AIDS, pregnancy scares, bi-racial relationships, sexual harassment at the workplace, and coming out. Over the years I workshopped it, revised it, abandoned it, took it up again, revised it again, and gave up — so many times I thought I WILL NEVER GET THIS RIGHT. But as the years went by and I matured as a writer, I kept going back to it with a new attitude… on and off I kept working, and not only did I finish it in the year 2020, but I wrote the final installation which tells the story of what became of the girls, now in their 50s.
WHY THIS TITLE: The character of Jules is based on the character of Jo who resisted change and hated seeing her sisters grow up. The title comes from a quote by George Santyana: “To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” What I love about the title is, it conjures up images of spring, and the last name of the girls is “April” which I thought was a nice follow up to the last name of the girls in Little Women, which was “March.” Get it? 😉
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Anyone who loves Little Women will appreciate how I told a story which is the same but completely different. Anyone who loves women’s literary fiction will enjoy the introspective, sometimes sad, sometimes ironic perspective of what it was like to be a young woman making her way through the tumultuous decade of the 1980s. Anyone who struggled to fit in, who felt alienated, who felt ugly, who felt like the perpetual outsider, will be sympathetic to my characters as they overcome obstacles and heartbreak in a male-dominated society, and learn to stand in their power.
VOLUME ONE: “…a fond tribute to Little Women’s atmosphere, but with decidedly modern twists that place four sisters in different challenging roles as they move away from home and reach into the world with revised goals for themselves. It’s a milieu in which even Mom gets an unexpected second chance at love. In Love With Spring’s sassy, classy forms of sexual and social relationship-building will appeal to romance readers, fans of the classic Little Women, and women who just enjoy romps through love and life changes.” ~ MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
VOLUME TWO:“From heartbreak to success and achievement, Stratton creates a warm story that flows between family affairs and the broader world at large. This second volume represents a story that is not only a worthy follow-up to the first, but in keeping with the evolutionary process of young women entering the world beyond their immediate family. Women’s fiction readers, particularly those who enjoyed the closeness of Alcott’s little women, will find their contemporary parallels just as inviting.” ~ MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
THREE SISTER STORIES:“Robin Stratton does a fine job of intersecting each sister’s evolving, ongoing connections within these three stories. Each sister’s family, relationships with the other sisters, and outward trajectory comes to life. Each harbors hope for a different future, and each faces these possibilities and outcomes with a brave heart.” ~ MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
AUTHOR PROFILE: I am the author of four other novels, including one that was a National Indie Excellence Award finalist (On Air, Blue Mustang Press, 2011), three collections of poetry, and a writing guide. A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, I’ve had poems and short stories published in Word Riot, 63 Channels, Antithesis Common, Poor Richard’s Almanac(k), Blink-Ink, Pig in a Poke, Chick Flicks, Up The Staircase, Shoots and Vines, Ibbetson Street Press, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Somerville Times, and many others. Since 2004 I’ve been Acquisitions Editor for Big Table Publishing Company, and Senior Editor of Boston Literary Magazine since 2009. I was Director of the Newton Writing and Publishing Center for several years until I moved from Boston to San Francisco in 2018. Now I lead the popular “Six Feet of Poetry” and “Fiction by the Foot” series, and The Dead Poet Hike every spring. My latest book is Some Have Gone and Some Remain: Autobiographical poems and essays. Please stop by and visit me at www.robinstratton.com.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: In Love with Spring Volumes I & II take place in the tumultuous, chaotic, wonderfully empowering rock and roll decade of the 80s, and is based on Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. In Volume I, we meet the sisters:, romantic Mandy, bookish Jules, musical Lisbeth, and artistic Allie: “Dad left the same day John Lennon was assassinated, and for the rest of her life, Jules would connect the two events in her mind, where they lived as a single moment that changed everything; made life harsh, sad, lonely. In the two weeks since, Mom had maintained a steadfast position of grace and composure that Jules admired but could not rise to. And didn’t even try.” Middle-aged Mom is also a main character, as she attempts to repair her self-esteem and rebuild a life without her husband, a bi-polar alcoholic. During the next ten years, the girls learn about love, sex, pregnancy scares, anorexia, AIDS, bipolar disorder, suicide, harassment in the work place, coming out, marriage, death, and the challenge to define oneself after dreams have shattered.
Three Sister Stories revisits Mandy, Jules, and Allie in the year 2021 when they are in their mid-to-late 50s. Mandy, a high school principal, is in a race to diagnose a mysterious illness that is killing one of her students. Jules, now a publisher, comes up with a risky and possibly illegal scheme to save her press from going out of business while dealing with a crumbling marriage and a book she’s been struggling to finish for 40 years. Allie, devastated by the death of her husband, hopes to rediscover happiness by spending a year hand delivering letters from a quirky post office on an island in the Galapagos.
PRICES: $17.99 / $17.99 / $15.00 Right now, a deal! If you buy Volumes 1 and 2 direct from me, you get Volume 3 for free.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: firstname.lastname@example.org