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by Caitlin Hamilton Summie

To Lay to Rest Our Ghosts

Sarah Macmillan always puts family first, but she can’t quite stretch her arms wide enough to hold on to everyone as they all age: her career-minded, inattentive younger sister, Glennie; their grandparents, who are slowly fading; or a pregnancy Sarah desperately wanted. But it’s her tumultuous relationship with Glennie that makes Sarah feel the loneliest. She’d always believed that their relationship was foundational, even unbreakable. Though blessed with a happy marriage to Al, whose compassion and humor she admires, Sarah shoulders both caregiving and loss largely alone and grows bitter about Glennie’s absences, until one decision forces them all to decide what family means—and who is family. Narrated by the chorus of their three voices, this elegantly told and deeply moving novel examines the pull of tradition, the power of legacies, the importance of forgiveness, and the fertile but fragile ground that is family, the first geography to shape our hearts.



Lit Pub joint interview between Caitlin and David Borofka

Radio interview with PatZi at Joy on Paper

Review at Tar Heel Reader

Review Chapter 16/Humanities Tennessee



About the Author

Caitlin Hamilton Summie earned an MFA with Distinction from Colorado State University, and her short stories have been published inBeloit Fiction Journal, Wisconsin Review, Puerto del Sol, JMWW, Mud Season Review,Belmont Story Review, Hypertext Magazine, and more. Her story collection, TO LAY TO REST OUR GHOSTS, won the fourth annual Phillip H. McMath Book Award, Silver in the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award for Short Stories, and was a Pulpwood Queen Book Club Bonus Book. Her debut novel, GEOGRAPHIES OF THE HEART, was inspired by three stories in her collection. She spent many years in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Colorado before settling with her family in Knoxville, Tennessee. She co-owns the book marketing firm, Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity, founded in 2003. Find her online at caitlinhamiltonsummie.com.

Author photo by Alexandra Summie