Abilene

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Pub Date 01 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2023

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Description

A moving debut to add to your southern fiction list.

“Moonchild, Granny called me. For I was born when the moon was full, in a flat ranch house in Abilene, Texas. Granny always said that on account of that moon, I would move with the rhythm of nature – that my intuition was strong and that I would know about the insides of people – see things in my head before others watched them happen in the world. She stroked my hair and taught me songs with no words.”

– Opening lines from Abilene

Summary:

Three strong Southern women -- twelve-year-old Len, her mother Cora, and her Aunt Jean -- grapple with love and loss in this poignant tale set on a hardscrabble cattle ranch in a small Texas town. Len yearns to find the father who abandoned her, and after a chance encounter with a country music star who she suspects is him, she embarks on a life-altering journey to find the truth about her past. At the same time, Cora and Jean must deal with another shocking family betrayal that complicates everything. Told in turns by these three remarkable women, Abilene explores the boundaries of love and the transformative power of self-discovery.


A moving debut to add to your southern fiction list.

“Moonchild, Granny called me. For I was born when the moon was full, in a flat ranch house in Abilene, Texas. Granny always said that on account of...


A Note From the Publisher

Target Consumer:

--For readers of southern literary and "book club" fiction

--For readers who liked The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Target Consumer:

--For readers of southern literary and "book club" fiction

--For readers who liked The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, and...


Advance Praise

“Dare DeLano’s lush prose and keen eye reveals the hidden magic inside a dusty Texas ranch community. At its heart are three generations of strong, clear-sighted women. When young Len sees signs that could lead to the father she’d always wondered about, the deepest magic unfolds. Told with passion and humor, Abilene will move you to tears and fill you with the knowledge that in this world, with all its difficulties, anything is possible.”

—Karen Osborn, author of Patchwork and most recently The Music Book

“In Abilene, Dare DeLano has pulled off the most remarkable of feats. She has recreated for the reader the wondrous experience of falling, body and soul, into a grand love. This masterfully paced novel will magnetize you to its complex, vivid characters. And the twists and turns of DeLano’s poignant narrative will make you forget, in just the way a great love makes you forget, that anything else in the world matters.”

—Rachel Basch, author of The Listener


“Dare DeLano’s lush prose and keen eye reveals the hidden magic inside a dusty Texas ranch community. At its heart are three generations of strong, clear-sighted women. When young Len sees signs that...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781599489667
PRICE $18.95 (USD)
PAGES 234

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Average rating from 15 members


Featured Reviews

Abilene
by Dare DeLano
I am from Lubbock, and this writer knows the areas between there and Albine for sure, Ok, first, I LOVE this cover, so beautifully done.
Three strong Southern women -- twelve-year-old Len, her mother Cora, and her Aunt Jean -- grapple with love and loss in this poignant tale set on a hardscrabble cattle ranch in a small Texas town. Len yearns to find the father who abandoned her, and after a chance encounter with a country music star who she suspects is him, she embarks on a life-altering journey to find the truth about her past. At the same time, Cora and Jean must deal with another shocking family betrayal that complicates everything. Told in turns by these three remarkable women, Abilene explores the boundaries of love and the transformative power of self-discovery.

I did love this book. I stay up in the early morning to finish. It had moments that felt so real, so full of truths. Brilliantly written.

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Abilene is a beautifully written debut by author Dare DeLano. I thoroughly enjoyed the tale of these women, Cora, Len, and Jean, as well as the other characters.

As a single mom, Cora has raised Len, a girl with very special insights, while always wondering why Len's father left and never contacted her again. Len knows that someday she'll meet her father and things will be wonderful.

And then there's Jean, who committed a serious crime, but didn't even realize why until her attorney starts looking into her case.

The book captivated me and the only thing I would have liked is if it hadn't ended so abruptly. I would have liked to see a little more resolution with some of the minor characters. All in all, however, it was excellent.

4 stars

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A heartwarming debut featuring Southern family drama. I always enjoy stories set my home state. I don’t know if the author a native Texan, I found very little bio info. She certainly portrayed the Abilene area well and it’s residents nicely.
Len lives on the same farm where her Ma grew up. Len has a gift, or maybe a curse, feelings for things about to happen, so strong it can cause her to black out. She’s just ten but it’s always been there, just as it is for her Granny. Len has a carefree existence on the farm, helping with chores, going to school, riding horses and wading at the creek with best friend Rachel. Only one thing troubles Len and she simply won’t let it go. Who was her daddy, why didn’t he want her? Neither her Ma or Granny will give her the answers she’s looking for. She’s a stubborn child who doesn’t relent until she finds out the truth. Will it be devastating and leave her broken? Sometimes answers aren’t the ones we wanted.
This is a large strong family of women with aunts, uncles and cousins. When aunt Jean lands in jail after a horrible incident with uncle Roger, the family bonds are stretched thin. Nothing is as it seems. The secrets families keep, our perceptions of past events and the long lasting consequences of our choices. A story as old as time of young love and second chances. It’s part romance, part mystery and some emotionally charged, relevant social themes. It was an enjoyable family drama full of hope. I will watch for more from this author.
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy of “Abilene” by Dare DeLano, Mint Hill Books. These are all my own honest personal thoughts and opinions given voluntarily without compensation.

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What a beautiful debut novel by Dare Delano about a family of strong Southern women.Cora Aunt Jean, Granny, and 12 year old Len.
Len is like her granny with strong insight that can sometimes cause her to black out. All she wants in this world is her father and wonders why he left. Why did he never try to meet her.
Cora is Len's mother, who raised her on her own. She also wonders what possessed Len's father to walk away without a word.
And there is Aunt Jean who has landed herself in jail. Sometimes, you don't even realize when you have reached your limit.

I loved this story. It's a heartwarming saga about family, love, forgiveness, and strength. It's beautifully written with characters that stay with you.

Publicstion November 1st 2023
Thank you to Netgally and mint Hill books for an advanced copy in exchange for a voluntary review.

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Many thanks to NetGalley and Main Street Rag Publishing Company, Mint Hill Books, for the free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

This is a southern, domestic tale of three generations of Texas women who live together on a family ranch. We have Granny, Ma (Cora) and Len, the daughter/granddaughter. When Aunt Jean kills Uncle Roger, for reasons she cannot explain, the family unity is stretched thin. Nothing is as it seems with the familial secrets, the perceptions of past events and the consequences of choices made.

This is an enjoyable read about the tight ties of southern women. Recommend!!

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Wow! I can’t believe that ABILENE by Dare DeLano is a debut!
Len(ora), her mother Cora and her Aunt Jean are at the center of this fascinating story. Each of them is grappling with past and present lies, manipulations and misunderstandings. Thirteen year old Len has only an old, faded photo of the father who ran out on them before she was born. She longs for a father and constantly hopes and prays that she will one day find him. Then she hears the tail end of a conversation and thinks her mother calls her ‘a mistake’. Her world implodes.
Meanwhile, Aunt Jean is arrested for attempting to murder her controlling, philandering husband and while she is in jail, Cora sees something on Roger’s hospital room TV that literally takes her breath away and drains the blood from her face. Len takes notice and it reinvigorates her search for her father.
Told in dual timelines between 1988 and 2001 we see what secrets and lies have led to the stunning conclusion in 2001. This was definitely a slow build but a very enjoyable one. Kinda like when the roller coaster is pulling itself up; you can’t wait to get to the top but you know what’s coming is going to make your stomach drop.
I really enjoyed the author’s ability to take me to a dusty farm field, make me believe in a MOONCHILD and a little bit of magic. I liked her writing style so I will definitely be adding her to my authors to watch list. Great Job!
Thank you to Netgalley and Main Street Rag Publishing for this ARC opportunity. All opinions are my own and given voluntarily.

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This Southern Fiction novel, which takes place in Abilene, Texas, is basically told in three different voices: Len, Cora, and Aunt Jean.
Twelve year old Len, born "when the moon was full", has visions and senses things that are about to happen, causing her to black out. Her only hope in life is to know who her father is.
Cora, Len's mom, raised her daughter on her own, and often wondered why Len's father left, never to return.
Aunt Jean lives in a marriage that not too many would understand, least of all herself. A single act of transgression sends her to prison putting enormous stress and pressure on all family members.
The story is told in a past (1988) and present (2001) format, bringing the novel's storyline to an enjoyable and satisfying conclusion.
Based solely on my opinion, this debut novel was wonderfully written and without hesitation, I give it Five Stars!!
Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read an advanced digital copy of this book.

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A must read novel, so full it almost bursts from the binding. So deeply touching and filled with the heartache of two women and a young girl, each alone in their circumstances and together in the unfairness of life. Jean is in jail for shooting her husband, feeling like she is crazy. Cora yearns for her college days and the love of Edison who up and left her. Len has always wanted to know her father-who he is, why he left before she was born. Family is on every page as you learn of how the women got where they are.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This was very impressive for a debut author. Southern family drama at its finest. Len grows up wondering who her father is and why he didn’t stick around. Will the answer she finally gets be the one she wants? I enjoyed this slow burn mystery. Filed with secrets and drama but also hope.

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BOOK: ABILENE
AUTHOR: DARE DELANO
PUB DATE: O1 NOVEMBER 2023
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REVIEW
Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for this ARC. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Wow! What a wonderful, fast paced, can't stop turning the pages book. I loved it🥹🥹. I loved every single thing about this book, the storyline, the characters and the engaging writing. I read it all in a day, that's how wonderful it was!
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My favorite character is Jean, at first I didn't know how her story will affect the storyline, but it all made sense at the end. She was the victim of gaslighting and emotional abuse for 15 years at the hands of her husband. It was refreshing to see her awareness about the condition, her growth and healing. I almost cried while reading her part. Emotional abuse is just as traumatic as physical abuse(if not more)
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Coralee, the philosopher and a single mother and Lenora, her 12 year old daughter. I loved reading their POVs, especially Len's. There's a little element of magical realism here too. My heart went out to Cora because of her failed relationship with Len's father. I still admired her stegthen and the home she built for len
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Nevertheless, I'm happy it ended with a HEA with everyone getting their due comeuppance .

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