Author Claire Fullerton
Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. with her husband and 3 German shepherds. She is the author of Little Tea, the August selection of The Pulpwood Queens Book Club. Claire is the author of 5-time award winning, Mourning Dove; Dancing to an Irish Reel; and A Portal in Time. Her novella, Through an Autumn Window, is included in the book, A Southern Season. Her work has appeared in Celtic Life International, Southern Writers Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and others. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary Agency.
Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy
One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.
For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.
As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if her friendship with Little Tea can friendship can triumph over history.
Interview with Claire Fullerton
In a sentence or two, what is your book about?
Lifelong friendships, Southern culture, racial tension, and healing the past.
Why did you write it?
I wanted to write about the anchoring ties that bind in long-established female friendships, the stories that happen in a lifetime, and the nuances of Southern culture as a setting.
What was the spark for the story?
The attempt to capture the way women friends support each other when they know each other’s history; how they speak, their shared sense of humor, and the motivation that lies beneath their interaction.
What do you hope readers will take away from the book?
I hope they relate to the female characters to the point where they celebrate their own friendships and see them for the magic they are.
Can you share something interesting that happened while you were writing the book—an unexpected encounter, something you learned about the subject or about yourself?
In Little Tea, I created a bi-racial friendship in the narrator’s backstory. It gave me cause to explore that friendship from both sides; from the vantage point of an inner circle in the midst of a wider, cultural setting. In writing Little Tea, there were inherent challenges I’d never thoroughly explored as a writer. And as for female friendships. even though there is the desire to go in and “fix” a friend’s dilemma, we can only go as far as allowed. But sometimes the effort is enough.
Do you have any suggestions for our book clubs—a link to a reader’s guide, or a question or two that might open a lively discussion at a book club meeting?
I have a list of book club discussion questions at https://www.clairefullerton.com/copy-of-mourning-dove-book-club-dis
Is there anything else you would like the Pulpwood Queens Book Clubs to know about you or your book?
I love speaking with book clubs! I am always enlightened and invigorated by reader response and it’s my great joy and privilege to talk about any book I’ve written with a book club.
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