Arts

Maranatha Road

Marantha Road by Heather Bell Adams

Heather Bell Adams, Author

The image of a young girl waiting during a rainstorm for her parents’ arrival was one that haunted Heather Bell Adams until she put it down as the first chapter of what would become her debut novel.

“As a reader,” Adams says, “I enjoy character-driven stories. Here, the characters of Sadie, Mark and Clive Caswell and Tinley Green are what made Maranatha Road work for me as a writer. They kept drawing me back to the story.”

Adams drew on familiar territory for the novel’s setting. “The fictional town of Garnet is based on Hendersonville, where I grew up, as well as the communities of Tuxedo and Zirconia in the Green River Valley where we used to visit great-grandparents,” she says. “I combined certain aspects of these areas—the summer camps, apple orchards and farms, the charming downtown—to create Garnet.”

Adams hopes that readers who enjoy a “redemptive ending” will find her book satisfying to read. “Even though the characters travel through darkness for much of the book,” she says, “they eventually find their way toward the light.”

The novel won the Knoxville Writers’ Guild Contest and has drawn praise from some of Adams’ own favorite writers, including Robert Morgan who hails her as “an exciting new voice in Appalachian fiction.”

Maranatha Road, September, 2017, fiction, softcover, $18.99, by Heather Bell Adams, and published by Vandalia Press, Morgantown, WV. A reading will be held at Hub City Books in Spartanburg, SC, on Saturday, February 3, at 1 p.m. To learn more, visit heatherbelladams.com.

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