This Fall’s Most Anticipated Novel is Worth Every Tear

From the acclaimed author of Saving Ruby King, Catherine Adel West does it again with her latest novel The Two Lives of Sara. The story takes place in 1960s Memphis and follows the life of unwed mother Sara who is seeking a fresh start in a new town. Warmly welcomed by Mama Sugar, who runs a boarding house called The Scarlet Poplar, Sara earns her keep by helping out in the kitchen. However, secrets loom with Sara’s hush hush past life in Chicago and readers find themselves clawing to break through Sara’s quiet exterior.

“Like many cities in the Jim Crow South, Memphis is racially segregated, but the feeling of change is in the air. Freedom Riders are challenging to status quo and across the country Martin Luther King Jr. is leading the fight for equal rights. Sara finds herself having conversations about politics and a brighter future with Jonas, the local schoolteacher. As romance blooms for Jonas and Sara, she starts believing for the first time ever, that she might be worthy of love, despite what happened in Chicago. But their happiness doesn’t last long – secrets from Mama Sugar’s past catch up to her, and Sara and Jonas are caught in the crosshairs, forcing Sara to make a decision that will reshape the rest of her life.”

This jarring novel brings you heartbreak, hope, and heartbreak again. The characters are complicated and relatable, showcasing the complexities between the family you’re born into versus the family you choose. The Two Lives of Sara is a story of resiliency, hope, and love – an immensely human story that will have you navigating from one extreme emotion to the next. The story is beautifully written, the characters wonderfully developed, and the plot devastatingly tragic, but one you shouldn’t shy away from reading. It will stay with you for a long time.


Catherine Adel West is a writer/editor living on the South Side of Chicago. Her experience as a black woman shapes every aspect of her writing and she is sure to be a voice for many women. Her work has been published in Gay Magazine, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Five2One, Better than Starbucks, Doors Ajar, 805 Lit + Art, The Helix Magazine, Lunch Ticket, and most recently Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal. THE TWO LIVES OF SARA is her second novel


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