Alum Books: Winter 2014
By Kimberley Shaw ’88
Caitlin Leo is different: she’s bigger than the other kids, she has hearing aids, not to mention, she can make things move without touching them. She dreads riding the school bus because she gets teased, but everything changes when she goes to magic school. Still her awkward self, she falls off of her broom and gets her spells wrong, but she also finds a comforting sense of community.
Kimberley Shaw ’88 works at the Wellesley College Library and enjoys living in a hundred-year-old house in Boston with her wife and three cats. This is her first novel.
By Candice Hughes ’86
Professor Hope Howland is a forensic archaeologist, who has close ties to her family of Mayflower descendants. These ties are tested when she finds out that someone in the family is a murderer. This modern paranormal thriller is both a love story and a ghost story. Hughes brings readers on a fast-paced and intense journey as Howland struggles to maintain loyalty, while making sense of her family history of witchcraft and demons.
Candice Hughes ’86 has written several creative and nonfiction works. She is an Ida F. Snell Poetry Prize winner. Her debut thriller was Death on a Thin Horse. This is her second novel.
By N.A. Granger ’65
Rhe Brewster is an emergency room nurse, adrenaline junkie, and the star of Noelle Parsons Granger’s mystery novel series. One day Brewster gets distracted from her son’s soccer game and wanders off to find a red canvas chair. In it, she discovers the decaying body of a young woman, which sparks Brewster’s determination to help the police find the killer. The following quest presents her with obstacles like, a vengeful frenemy, a kidnapping, and an unsupportive husband.
N.A. Granger ’65, Professor Emeritus at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, taught anatomy to undergraduate students. Now, still using her knowledge of anatomy, she has turned to mystery writing. This is the first installation in the Rhe Brewster series.
Guns for Judea is a historical novel written by J.W. Yanowitz, the pen name for the novel writing pair, Winifred Chapin Young ’76 and her husband John. Their novel follows John, who unlocks a safe to find a mysterious letter. The story unfolds as John discovers details about the life of his grandfather, who, as a boy, fought in an all-Jewish brigade for Britain in World War I.
Winifred Chapin Young ’76 spent much of her career in the dance world as a teacher, choreographer, and performer. Now she teaches visual art and dance for grades K-8 in Seattle. John is a sculptor and public artist. This is the couple’s first novel.
By Mary Lou Judd Carpenter ’55
Miriam Barber Judd ’25 wrote 2,000 letters over the course of her lifetime. Judd wrote most often to her husband Walter, a Minnesota congressman, who held office from 1943 to 1963. Miriam was born in India, the daughter of missionaries. Much of her life was devoted to missionary work. Mary Lou Judd Carpenter ’55, her daughter, compiled Miriam’s Words: The Personal Price of a Public Life, a collection of the most telling letters Miriam wrote.
Mary Lou Judd Carpenter ’55 lives in Minneapolis where she has been active in volunteer efforts on behalf of human rights, social welfare, church, school, and community causes. She has three children and seven grandchildren.
By Mary Ann Sparklin Woodruff ’60
“How did a nice, conventional good girl like me grow up…and up…and up…to be…queer?” begins Mary Ann Sparklin Woodruff ’60 in her memoir called The Last of the Good Girls. Her privileged life changed dramatically when, at midlife, she fell in love with a woman. The book, according to Alene Moris, co-founder of the University of Washington Women’s Center, “will inspire every person who reaches mid life and realizes the painful need to risk approval and security in order to live with authenticity and joy.”
Mary Ann Sparklin Woodruff ’60 was, for much of her career, an organization development consultant. Now she is pursuing her life-long love of writing and occasional public speaking.
By Kristin Louise Duncombe ’91
Kristin Louise Duncombe ’91 fell in love with a doctor and put her career on pause to follow him to East Africa. He was working for Médecins Sans Frontières and she was a “trailing spouse.” In Trailing: A Memoir, Duncombe documents her journey through identity loss, a public health crisis, injustice, and a violent carjacking. “For the accompanying spouse,” Duncombe explains, ” no matter how fabulous the new country is, ‘trailing’ often means struggling to set up the infrastructure of a new life, and that includes re-discovering and/or re-defining what provides a sense of meaning and purpose to one’s existence.”
Kristin Louise Duncombe ’91 works as a psychotherapist, consultant, and writer. She has based her career on working with international and expatriate families. She has lived in France since 2001.
By Susan Smith McLaren ’62
Susan Smith McLaren ’62 has compiled a book of her musings on life. Finding the Tiger: A Coming of Age includes a collection of family-approved recipes alongside philosophical food for thought. The content is blog-like as McLaren’s entries include poetry, essays, short musings, photos and recipes. She covers everything from the aging process to animals and their role in our lives (pet pictures included).
Susan Smith McLaren ’62 recently retired as a National Certified Counselor, specializing in trauma, anxiety, and grief.
November 1, 2013