Sara Barefield

Marian D.

WOMEN'S FICTION:  Sara Barefield has overcome a hard-scrabble beginning and is enjoying a settled, comfortable life with a good job, a nice home and her boyfriend Tully. Sarah's life takes an unexpected turn when Tully's severe PTSD causes him to commit suicide. Having recently discovered that she is pregnant, a heartbroken Sara makes the difficult decision to leave her Appalachian home town. When she moves to Stallings, West Virginia, Sara embarks on a journey full of life-changing events. Time and again she is faced with devastating circumstances. With few friends and no family to rely on, does Sara have what it takes to make her dreams come true for herself and her baby? 

Often tragic but always insightful, "Sara Barefield" tackles themes of racism, classism and abject poverty. This well-honed, character driven story offers an uncompromising look at poverty and the feelings of helplessness and shame that are sometimes a by-product of being on public assistance. Ms. Schwartz is a powerhouse writer. She has painstakingly crafted a beautiful, thoughtful tale with unimaginable depth. While Sara does eventually move on from Tully’s death and finds love with a new man, some may feel that Sara’s relationship with him is among the least interesting in the story. All in all readers will rejoice in Sara's amazing ability to overcome adversity, and ultimately triumph. The realistic portrayal of difficult choices combined with the many instances of hope and redemption make this a worthwhile tale. This book is a jewel, one that will stay with the reader long after the final page. 

Chantel Hardge