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Emily Gray Tedrowe Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Commuters (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blue Stars (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Talented Miss Farwell (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Emily Gray Tedrowe
Emily Gray Tedrowe is a literary fiction writer best known for her debut novel, Commuters. The talented author has also published fiction in Sycamore Review, Other Voices, and Crab Orchard Review, among other publications. For one of her fantastic short stories, Tedrowe won an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award. She has also enjoyed fellowships from Virginia Center for Creative Artists and the Ragdale Foundation. Tedrowe resides in Chicago with her husband and their two young daughters.

Blue Stars
Blue Stars tells the story of Ellen and Lacey, two women from different worlds who bond over similar experiences. Ellen is a literature professor and a mother living in the Midwest. She is drawn to the war when a young man she is taking care of becomes a Marine. Lacey, on the other hand, spent her high school entangled with a creep and the only good that came out of this relationship is her son Otto. To ensure that her son enjoys a stable life, Lacey marries Eddie, a military man by profession. However, due to unusual situations, Lacey and her husband encounter many changes with the military.
When Eddie and Michael are brought home after sustaining injuries in Iraq, Lacey and Ellen’s lives become intertwined. The two women spend considerable time in Walter Reed Army hospital as they care for their wounded soldiers. Here, they learn to share their experiences and form unlikely alliances as they wait for their loved ones to recover. The challenges they encounter are sometimes too much, and it is unfortunate how their circumstances affect everyone around them. In the end, both women come out of the hospital changed for good.

It is hard not to fall in love with these two women. Both are hardworking, devoted to their families, and exceptionally compassionate. We get to follow Ellen and Lacey in their homes, workplaces, bars and hotels, and the army hospital. Through the two ladies, we get to see the struggles women go through as they work hard to pay bills and always worry about their loved ones at war. The two characters also show how it feels to live in a society that barely understands how much these ladies go through.

This book paints a picture of what happens to those left behind after a family member joins the military. The constant worrying, struggle with finances, and push to accept reality when everything doesn’t work as planned is well illustrated here. This book was modeled after the 2007 Walter Reed story when our eyes were opened to the horrible conditions and abuses that injured soldiers and their families were forced to endure. For the families, most have to put their lives on hold, risk their jobs as they watch their beloved members fight for their lives.

Blue stars is a story about ordinary people. The book portrays the reality for women whose partners and sons are in Iraq. For most of these women, their lives are characterized by uncertainty, not to mention the stress of taking care of the family alone. While this is an emotional story, its message is good. It’s about time the world understood what goes on in Army Hospitals and in the lives of families whose kin are in the military.

Commuters
Commuters tell the story of Winnie Easton and Jerry Trevis, two people who find comfort in each other’s arms. Winnie is seventy-eight years old when she finds love in Jerry, an elderly and wealthy Chicago businessman. When the couple decides to buy a big house in Hartfield, New York, their families get angry and skeptical about their intentions. Annette, Jerry’s daughter, is particularly worried about her inheritance, so she goes ahead to freeze Jerry’s assets. Rachel, Winnie’s daughter, accepts Jerry’s offer for a loan to help with her financial struggles following her husband’s head injury.

The book also tells the story of Avery, Jerry’s grandson. Avery has a history with drugs, and after going through rehab, he is looking to get financing from his grandfather to start his restaurant in Manhattan. With all the pressures exerted on Jerry because of his wealth, the older man’s health starts to deteriorate. Hard decisions have to be made fast, which leads to the formation of new friendships and alliances. Annette will have to reconsider what is more important as Jerry tries to understand where his daughter is coming from. How will Winnie act, seeing a man he has just married on his death bed? How does it feel going through it all a second time?

The author allows us to see the perspective of three generations, which makes it easy to understand that all everyone wants is to be loved and happy. All their dilemmas seem real, and the rising tension prompts you to continue reading and see what happens next. What would you do if love found you after losing your partner of many years? How would it feel to see your father splashing his wealth in an effort to impress his new bride? These are some of the questions that will be going through your minds as you read this story.

This book traces the stories of Racheal, Winnie, and Avery. The story outlines how one marriage changes their lives overnight and the hard choices they have to make after that. Told from the perspective of different family members, this story exposes the complexities that come with finding love late in life. The resentment from grown children is surprising, but the pleasure of getting a new partner in the sunset years cannot be ignored. This novel is elegantly told in clear voices. It is easy to understand every member of the two families’ concerns, especially where navigating inheritance with the changing family dynamics is concerned.

Commuters is a perfect read if you enjoy stories on love, family, and the changes that come with new relationships. The author has done a great job of developing relatable characters, and it is easy to understand how difficult change is for all of them. Everything from the narration to the character-building is just right, and some of the situations will move you to tears. If you are in the mood for a heartwarming read, this book is ideal.

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