Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780345499684, 384pp.
Publication Date: February 12, 2008
Fowler's debut is the heartbreaking story of a woman who made what she thought was a responsible decision, only to have to live with the consequences...When Meg discovers she has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), she knows she has only one chance to make peace with the past and give her daughter hope for the future. The choices made by Meg and Savannah may be controversial with some readers, but, nevertheless, this outstanding debut is recommended for all public libraries. —Library Journal (starred review)
“Souvenir is tender, touching, and completely compelling. I cared so much about these characters, couldn’t put the novel down, read through the night. Therese Fowler writes with such wisdom about young love, intense and impossible choices, and the way one decision can affect an entire life.”
In this powerful fiction debut, Therese Fowler combines the emotional resonance of Nicholas Sparks with the intense, true-to-life richness of Jodi Picoult to create a stunning and dramatic novel all her own.
Meg Powell and Carson McKay grew were raised side by side on their families’ farms, bonded by a love that only deepened. Everyone in their small rural community in northern Florida thought that Meg and Carson would always be together. But at twenty-one, Meg was presented with a marriage proposal she could not refuse, forever changing the course of her life.
Seventeen years later, Meg’s marriage has become routine, and she spends her time juggling the demands of her medical practice, the needs of her widowed father, and the whims of her rebellious teenage daughter, Savannah, who is confronting her burgeoning sexuality in a dangerous manner, and pushing her mother away just when she needs her most. Then, after a long absence, Carson returns home to prepare for his wedding to a younger woman. As Carson struggles to determine where his heart and future lie, Meg makes a shocking discovery that will upset the balance of everyone around her.
Unfolding with warmth and passion, Therese Fowler’s vibrant and moving debut illuminates the possibility of second chances, the naïve choices of youth, the tensions within families, and the wondrous designs of fate. A searing yet redemptive novel, Souvenir is an unforgettable tale about the transforming power of love.
Therese Fowler holds an MFA in creative writing. She grew up in Illinois, and now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two sons. This is her first novel.