Something is odd about Grace. She has mismatched eyes, one dark and one light. She thinks she’s seen God. When her mother dies, she begins to get letters from her, as if from the grave. The letters tell of her mother’s life before she married Grace’s father, in time, confessing fiercely guarded family secrets. I wasn’t always a Preacher’s Wife… I made mistakes along the way.
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Looking back, as a middle-aged woman, Grace relives those transformative years, coming of age in the 1960s as the daughter of The Reverend Thad Carsten and his much-younger wife, Sharon. When they move to a new neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, Sharon is healthy and Grace takes turmoil in stride: a new school, her backward neighbors, the simmering Vietnam War and political unrest. On the whole, life is sublime—until Sharon gets sick and dies. Then Grace’s world turns upside down.
Days after Sharon is gone, the letters to her daughter start coming, delivered mysteriously in the dark of night. Grace finds them—addressed to her—and devours every word, desperate to figure out who’s delivering them. As she struggles with questions of loss and faith, she begins to butt heads with the preacher, increasingly focused on the mysterious messenger and her mother’s letters. The handwritten pages arrive periodically as Grace matures, fostering a strange mother daughter relationship.
Early on, the letters offer motherly advice, but increasingly they shift their focus to Sharon’s early teens, eventually confessing a forbidden young adult romance. By then, Grace is desperate for the rest of the story, searching everywhere for her mother’s writings, until finally there’s a breakthrough. When she reads the last of the letters—and an astonishing truth—she embarks on a journey that changes her life and perspective forever.
What did Sharon confess in the last letter to her daughter? How does it affect their unusual mother daughter relationship? As Grace runs away to trace her mother’s past and teenage romance, what will she find?
With its elements of romance and mystery, The God of Sno Cone Blue, sometimes searched as Snow Cone Blue, is best described as contemporary women’s fiction, though its strong central male character also appeals to men. The novel’s storyline and mother daughter relationship are fitting Inspirational Fiction, and its passion and coming of age tale are appropriate for teenagers and young adult romance.
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Young Adult Romance
* USA Today Bestselling Author Linda Needham on this inspirational fiction story: “The God of Sno Cone Blue is a joyous celebration of a young girl’s journey to womanhood. Grace is a modern match for Tom Sawyer, with a grand spirit and enough spunk to weather the heartache of losing her mother at a tender age. Along the way, she gains the wisdom to recognize the breadth of her mother’s love through a series of posthumous, sometimes shocking letters delivered in the years that follow. With a driving style and a colorful cast of eccentric characters, author Marcia Coffey Turnquist fiercely delivers equal parts laughter, sorrow and the kind of joy that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.”
*Author Rod Gramer on this novel fraught with family secrets: “Marcia has created a compelling character in Grace, one whose great personal loss is redeemed by a great personal discovery.”
*Portland Society Page editor Elisa Klein on the story’s mystery and romance: “Surprises abound and the twists and turns kept me flipping pages late into the night as I curled up in my favorite chair to drink it all in.”
*Award-winning artist D.K. Lubarsky on this coming of age novel: “A masterful storyteller, Turnquist takes you on a magical journey of discovery in this poignant tale of innocence and growing up. The God of Sno Cone Blue is a delightful read.”