Sunflowers in a Hurricane
George Ferguson’s beloved wife Dottie died in childbirth, leaving behind a beautiful baby girl. When Dottie’s wealthy sister comes to visit, she forces George to make the most difficult and painful decision of his life. As a result, he has spent the last fifty years missing both his wife and daughter, living a quiet life rooted in the faith and the belief that he will someday be reunited with the love of his life,
Unexpectedly pregnant soon after high school graduation and rejected by the baby’s father, Cheryl Callahan leaves home and her faith behind her and sets off on her own. Fourteen years later, she is forced to return home and face her demons when her mother dies.
By this time, Cheryl is a bitter single mother who feels the life she was supposed to lead was stolen from her. She loves and sacrifices for her daughter, Ruth, but hates the hand she has been dealt and longs for what might have been.
Ruth resents her mother’s overbearing rules and doesn’t want to leave everything she knows in Ohio to go to Massachusetts to bury a grandmother she barely knew.
Cheryl’s mother had been George’s next door neighbor for many years. When Cheryl and Ruth move in to fix up the house so that it can be sold, Ruth and George form an unlikely friendship with George teaching her about gardening and the value of faith. Over her mother’s objections, Ruth also develops a crush on the shy, handsome paperboy, offering Ruth her first taste of romance and causing her to be torn between her life back home and her new life here.
Over the course of one life-changing summer set in 1986, all three characters will be forced to face the decisions of the past in order to heal and move forward into a more hopeful future.
“Sunflowers in a Hurricane” deals with difficult topics. Just like in real life, bad things happen to good people and not everything is wrapped up neatly, but it is ultimately a pro-life story rooted in faith, hope, and the power of love and forgiveness.
About the author
A member of the Catholic Writer’s Guild, Anne Faye is a homeschooling mother of three who writes from Western Massachusetts. In addition to “Sunflowers in a Hurricane,” she has written “Through the Open Window” and “The Rose Ring,” both of which received the Catholic Writer’s Guild Seal of Approval. When she is not busy homeschooling or writing, she enjoys reading, quilting, and long walks with her dog.
The inspiration for “Sunflowers in a Hurricane” came when she saw an old man walking along the side of the road of her hometown. Remembering seeing him walk the same path, always alone, for many years, Anne pointed him out to her children, “He was old even when I was young.” From that one line, the story began to develop. Begun as a National Novel Writing Month project, it took nearly two years of writing and revision to come to fruition.
Twitter Name: @AnneMFaye
By Amazon Customer on June 23, 2016
Sunflowers in a Hurricane contains the thoughts and feelings of three main characters: George – an elderly man coping with giving his daughter up after his wife died, Cheryl – a woman who struggles to get by as a single mom, and Ruth – a young teen trying to figure out life.
This book is described above as “wholesome,” but that’s sort of a loaded word. The situations in this book are serious, such as rape, adoption, death, and alcoholism, but are addressed in a way that is free from all the gratuitous content often found in popular fiction today. Unlike other books that might be described as “wholesome,” Sunflowers is not cloyingly sweet. Bad things happen to good people, and faith doesn’t automatically make life daisies and roses.
The quote on the cover, “You won’t be able to put it down” was true for me. I finished it in a day because I was invested in the characters. The book contains questions for a book club. It’s a short novel about all sorts of relationships and healing from the past– ideas that would benefit anyone.
Overall, Sunflowers in a Hurricane is an enjoyable quick read.
I received a copy of Sunflowers in a Hurricane in exchange for an honest review.
By Laura Pearl on June 10, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
I was honored to receive a pre-publication copy of Anne Faye’s latest novel, Sunflowers in a Hurricane. Having read—and very much enjoyed—The Rose Ring, I was quite excited to read the latest offering by this talented author of Catholic women’s fiction. Sunflowers in a Hurricane is a short novel, at about 50,000 words; but it is by no means short on substance. If you are able to clear your calendar for an afternoon, you could devour it in one sitting—which is exactly what I did! I dare say you won’t be able to put it down once you start it.
As I was reading along, I could clearly picture every scene of this sweet and uplifting novel, and the thought occurred to me more than once that it would make an excellent Hallmark channel movie. Faye has woven a compelling tale here, with engaging characters whose flaws and struggles are so painfully real that any reader can relate to them.
George is an elderly gentleman who still misses the beloved wife he lost tragically during childbirth when they were both very young. Long ago, he was also forced to make a decision no one should ever have to make, and he’s had to live with the consequences of that heart-rending decision every day since. Cheryl is a bitter single mother who has been raising a teenage daughter on her own, far from the town where she grew up. When her estranged mother dies, Cheryl returns to her hometown to take care of her mother’s affairs and is ultimately forced to confront her own mistake-filled past. Cheryl’s daughter Ruth is a confused and mildly rebellious thirteen-year-old who didn’t want to move away from the only home she’d ever known, has never met her father, and can’t understand why her mother won’t allow her to even talk to boys.
By An Open Book Family on July 2, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Sunflowers in a Hurricane is a touching cross-generational story filled with regrets, small kindnesses, and hope.
Anne Faye did a great job in capturing young Ruth’s emotions. Both her relationship with her angry mother and the cute paperboy whom she befriends rang true. Equally moving was the relationship with her elderly neighbor, Mr. Ferguson, who shares more in common with Ruth’s mother Cheryl than one would guess.
The resolution with Ruth’s father left me somewhat conflicted. It’s one of the many facets of the book in which there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer but rather an imperfect decision with ramifications that affect each generation.
The writing is crisp and smooth, the chapters short, and the plot twists intriguing, which kept me reading well past my bedtime.
Sunflowers in a Hurricane would make a great selection for a book club and is suitable for teens and adults alike.
I received a review copy from the author (a fellow member of the Catholic Writers Guild), for my honest review.
By Erin McCole Cupp on June 30, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
By Rhonda Ortiz on June 27, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition