Welcome to the Sweet Breath of Memory blog tour!
About the book
Published: 28th June 2016 (Kensington)
Life is in the telling.
With its tree-lined streets, vibrant downtown and curbside planters of spring bulbs, Amberley, Massachusetts, seems a good place for Cate Saunders to start over. It’s been two years since her husband, John, was killed in Iraq and life has been a struggle. Her new job as a caregiver doesn’t pay much, but the locals are welcoming. In fact, Cate has barely unpacked before she’s drawn–reluctantly at first–into a circle of friends.
There’s diner-owner Gaby, who nourishes her customers’ spirits as well as their bodies; feisty Beatrice, who kept the town going when its men marched off to WWII; wise-cracking MaryLou, as formidable as Fort Knox but with the same heart of gold; and, Sheila, whose Italian grocery is the soul of the place. As Amberley reveals itself to be a town shaped by war, Cate encounters another kindred spirit–a Holocaust survivor with whom she feels a deep connection. When revelations about John’s death threaten Cate’s newfound peace of mind, these sisters-in-arms’ stories show her an unexpected way forward. And Cate comes to understand that although we suffer loss alone, we heal by sharing our most treasured memories.
Sweet Breath of Memory opens in March 2010 with Cate embarking on a bus to Amberley from Boston to make start a new life. Cate is hurting, she is leaving behind her home; one is which she entered as a newlywed with hopes and dreams – instead now her belongings are in storage and she is left only with memories. Her husband John was killed in Iraq, immediately after his death she sought solace in the church however platitudes from the priest just made her more angry and just wants answers surrounding John’s death.
When she arrives at Amberley she meets grocery shop owner Shelia, who see’s herself in Cate. Unbeknown to Shelia, the stranger who has walked into her grocery store/cafe is the new carer for Helen whom Shelia grew up with. Shelia offers Cate the apartment above the grocery to rent and so begins the relationships that Cate builds with the prominent business women of Amberley; Shelia, Gaby and Mary-Lou.
Whilst Cate is becoming a carer for Helen, her true passion is writing and she is hopeful that the change in scenery and direction will reinvigorate her creativity last she lost when John died.
Sweet Breath of Memory is descriptive in its narrative, really bringing to life how Cate is feeling; her feelings of loneliness, grief and anger. The narrative also brings to life the town of Amberley and those women who live in it, building a bond and support network for Cate.
A thoroughly enjoyable read about friendship and finding yourself again.
About the author
A native of Bergen County, New Jersey, Ariella lives in New England but her dream self resides in County Mayo, Ireland. The daughter of a school teacher/librarian, she doesn’t remember learning to read, only the frustration when her older siblings could and she couldn’t.
Ariella graduated with honors from Barnard College, Columbia University, and attended the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a Visiting Scholar. Her three years in that city were magical. She holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School where she served as Associate Editor of both The Journal of International Law and Comparative Studies in Society and History. She spent more than a decade working in NYC – as a senior manager at the New York Public Library, Yeshiva University and Columbia University’s School of the Arts – before completing her law degree. After practicing in New York and New Jersey, she now focuses full-time on her writing and her family.
Sweet Breath of Memory is Ariella’s debut adult novel.