Author Karen Guzman
Genre Women’s Fiction
Publisher The Wild Rose Press
When the recipe for a new life is bittersweet…
Ellen Cahill’s financial future rides on the success of her new pastry shop. A bruising divorce has drained her bank account, along with her spirit. A man enters her life promising love, but Ellen, haunted by the past, questions whether she can pull off this new beginning.
College student Rosa Escamilla has her own culinary dreams—and a difficult mother who’s dead set against them. Rosa won’t be deterred. She scrapes up the money to enroll at a prestigious culinary school, setting out to prove everyone wrong.
When hidden betrayals by the people they love most surface for both Ellen and Rosa, can they overcome the blows they never saw coming on the road to where they want to go?
She followed the winding path, past squat campus buildings, across the courtyard where she had sat with Alice the first day, to the parking lot where her car waited. It wouldn’t be long now—November, Thanksgiving would be upon her, and then the holiday season in all its dash and shimmer—her first as a divorced person.
This was how she had come to think of herself: a divorced person. She disliked “divorcée,” which Alice liked to throw about suggestively. The word had the faint stink of misogyny, of finger-pointing, the whisper of failure—more so a woman’s than a man’s. Why was that? American men were simply “divorced,” a neutral proclamation. No cutesy French name had been borrowed to designate their failed-marriage status.
And in truth though, if Ellen had failed anyone, she had failed herself. This stinging little insight had come to her in Arborview, lying in dappled sunlight, where she was free to look at things and creep near the truth. The truth was she had fallen like a stone to the earth after all these years, and the voice she had learned to ignore had only grown louder. She had abandoned, or at least shelved, herself long before Zach worked up the courage to do it.
She really should tell Rosa: “Don’t worry about what your mother thinks, or your brother, or anyone else. Choose, or the world will do it for you.” This was what the girl needed to hear.
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Karen Guzman is a fiction writer and essayist. Her new novel, Arborview, is published by The Wild Rose Press. Her debut, Homing Instincts, was published by Fiction Attic Press in 2014. Karen’s short fiction has appeared in a number of literary magazines, and her story collection, Pilgrims, was a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award. Karen is a regular contributor to the Collegeville Institute’s Bearings Online magazine. She is the recipient of a 2021 writing fellowship at the Collegeville Institute.
Karen has worked as a journalist at the Hartford Courant in Hartford, Connecticut, and at the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is presently a writer at the Yale School of Management.
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