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Sara Gruen

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Sara is a Canadian-born dual citizen (Canadian and American) who moved to the States in 1999 for a technical writing job. When she was laid off two years later, instead of looking for another job, she decided to take a gamble on writing fiction full-time. Fortunately, the gamble paid off and she's working on Ape House, her fourth novel. Sara lives in northern Illinois with her husband, three children, two dogs, two cats, three goats, and horse in an environmentalist community. They are relocating to North Carolina this summer, and Sara already has her eye on another horse and a donkey.

Genres: Literary Fiction
Sara Gruen recommends
Whistling in the Dark (2007)
(Whistling in the Dark, book 1)
Lesley Kagen
"[A] bittersweet and beautifully rendered... story of two young sisters and a summer jam-packed with disillusionment and discovery... Whistling in the Dark shines."
Every Crooked Pot (2007)
Renée Rosen
"Every Crooked Pot is a beautifully nuanced tale about an extrordinary family and even more extraordinary young woman. Not since Myla Goldberg's Bee Season has a first novel so deftly captured the complexities, joys, and frustrations of daughters and their families. It's hard to believe this is a debut--Rosen's voice is already as good as it gets. Keep an eye out for this rising star."
On Borrowed Wings (2007)
Chandra Prasad
"In Adele, Chandra Prasad has created an inspired and timeless heroine whose intelligence, imagination, and determination has you rooting for her from the very first page. Prasad's powerful prose matches the vital, urgent vigor of youth, particularly the bond of friendship. Her novel combines drama and a strong sense of place that provides both a lesson in history and a fine read."
Matters of Faith (2008)
Kristy Kiernan
"[A] writer to watch."
The Gift (2008)
Cecelia Ahern
"A tantalizing tale... a perfect treat for the holidays."
Come Sunday (2009)
Isla Morley
"A heart-wrenching tale of unthinkable loss and hard-won healing. This is a novel to savor."
The Creation of Eve (2010)
Lynn Cullen
"Enormously satisfying."
The Doctor and the Diva (2010)
Adrienne McDonnell
"Beautifully written and lushly set."
The Blessings of the Animals (2010)
Katrina Kittle
"In this beautifully crafted novel, Katrina Kittle deftly illustrates the devastation of betrayal and loss, the healing power of love and compassion, and the joy and comfort that comes from knowing - and relating to - animals."
Juliet (2010)
Anne Fortier
"One of those rare novels that have it all... I was swept away."
Up from the Blue (2010)
Susan Henderson
"A haunting tale... This is not a book you'll soon forget."
Z (2013)
Therese Anne Fowler
"An utterly engrossing portrayal..."
Swing (2014)
Philip Beard
"Philip Beard's Swing is a novel to be savored."
The Nightingale (2015)
Kristin Hannah
"Beautifully written . . . packed with action and emotion."
The Book of Speculation (2015)
Erika Swyler
"Dazzling. I absolutely loved this book. My only complaint is that I am already on the edge of my seat waiting for her next."
The Edge of Lost (2015)
Kristina McMorris
"Will grab your heart on page one and won't let go until the end."
Flight of Dreams (2016)
Ariel Lawhon
"A fascinating blend of love and murder, big dreams and betrayal, history and pure imagination—I could not put it down."
The Opposite of Everyone (2016)
Joshilyn Jackson
"Inevitable, surprising, and beautifully true...I loved this book and you will also."
The Marsh King's Daughter (2017)
Karen Dionne
"The Marsh King's Daughter is bound to become a classic. Read it."
Watch Me Disappear (2017)
Janelle Brown
"Riveting, seduction...I loved it."
The Sisters of Glass Ferry (2017)
Kim Michele Richardson
"An emotionally resonant tale of secrets, regret, and absolution that held me spellbound. You simply have to read it."
All the Beautiful Girls (2018)
Elizabeth J Church
"A gorgeously written novel with the bite of a gin martini, All the Beautiful Girls goes beyond the splashy, gaudy dazzle of Las Vegas in the sixties to reveal the beating heart beneath the glamorous facade of the showgirl with big ambitions. Our protagonist Lily's grit, determination, and grace as she discovers the heady possibilities and dark perils of the American dream make Elizabeth Church's second novel unforgettable."
The Madonna of the Mountains (2018)
Elise Valmorbida
"A riveting adventure for the soul, The Madonna of the Mountains is just the kind of evocative historical fiction I love. It transported me to Italy and provided a feast for the senses: I smelled the flowers, tasted the gnocchi, heard the clang and chimes of church bells--and watched a young girl grow into a woman whose faith, love, and innocence are tested by the hardships of war. Powerful and entrancing."
The Dying of the Light (2018)
Robert Goolrick
"Passion, loneliness, decadence, and sexuality are all powerfully portrayed in this beautifully written novel."
Dark Horses (2021)
Susan Mihalic
"Dark Horses is a pulse-pounding, unflinching tale of one teenaged girl's iron-willed determination to wrest control of her life from her abuser. Roan Mongtomery's sweeping and raw story of courage, resilience and clear-eyed grace will never leave me."

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