Esme Cahill Fails Spectacularly: A Novel (Paperback)
Esme had a rough start in life, until her grandparents stepped in, taking the small girl to live with them in their rustic resort on a lake ideal for fishing outside Asheville North Carolina. They were kind people and did well by Esme. Both her grandmother Adele and grandfather George loved reading. She grew up wanting to write and feeling the place to be was New York City, never mind her grandfather ‘s assertion Thomas Wolfe did just fine coming from North Carolina. Esme had another reason for wanting to leave, her mother, Robyn, was finally coming home. Esme wanted to be long gone before the woman who had failed so spectacularly as a mother arrived. So, at 19 she headed out to the big city.
Years went by, success as an author never came, nor did the promised visits home. When her grandmother dies, she finally heads home, arriving to find the rustic resort along the lake shore much changed. In the past it was well maintained and inviting, now it all looks worn and shabby, things are definitely not right.
The story moves between Esme’s life as a woman seeking a measure of success and the war years when her grandmother Adele was young. Adele also dreamed of succeeding as an artist, hoped to see her paintings hanging on art gallery walls.
I enjoy books that give a shout out to other works of literature and have interesting characters. This succeeds on both counts! It is a lovely story about the measure of what success really means, the intrinsic value of art, the bonds of family, and the rewards of friendship.— Deon Stonehouse
From the author of The Restoration of Celia Fairchild, comes a novel about the meaning of family and the places we call home. If you love “southern summer” fiction authors like Mary Alice Monroe and Kristy Woodson Harvey you’ll love this delicious novel about family, friendship, and finding your true path in life.
Esme Cahill thinks she has failed spectacularly: fired from her New York City publishing job, divorced from her husband, and possessing little more than a broken-down car and a pile of unfinished manuscripts, she drives home to Asheville at the request of her late grandmother, Adele, who had begged her, just before she died, to return to the place she grew up.
There she discovers the once-charming lakeside retreat run by her family is sliding toward financial ruin, so with the help of her grandfather, George; estranged mother, Robyn; and a travelling chef Dawes (maker of the world’s best grilled cheese sandwich) they set to work. In the attic, Esme unearths a trove of museum-worthy art quilts, sewn by Adele. Piecing together the inspiration behind them, Esme discovers a forgotten chapter in her family history and her grandmother’s untold story, that of a gifted artist who never received her due.
This is an always-emotional, sometimes humorous, very human novel of what it means to be family—the ties that bind us together and the unintentional hurts that can rend us apart. And, along the way, Esme learns that failure can be the first step toward the life you’re meant to find.
About the Author
Marie Bostwick is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of insightful, uplifting fiction for women. Marie lives in Oregon with her husband. When not writing books, she enjoys quilting, hiking, cooking, and creating posts on her lifestyle blog, Fiercely Marie. Marie travels extensively, speaking at libraries, bookstores, quilt guilds, and conferences.
"Marie Bostwick wows with this wise, warm-hearted novel about taking risks, chasing dreams, and finding solace in the places you love most. Set in an idyllic North Carolina mountain resort, it is a vacation in words that I did not want to leave and absolutely could not put down. Esme Cahill is a protagonist to root for who will ultimately uncover the true meaning of family, the power of ancestral memory, and how, sometimes, failing spectacularly is the only way to begin again. This is Marie Bostwick at her storytelling finest!" — Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Veil
"Marie Bostwick's latest, Esme Cahill Fails Spectacularly, has everything I love: a funny, brave heroine who knows how to rock failure so well that she's writing a book after receiving 268 previous rejections, women helping each other, a lakeside resort in need of some BIG repairs, a loving and dysfunctional family--and caramel cake! And quilts! I read this wise, loving book in one sitting because I simply couldn't stop. And now I want a sequel!" — Maddie Dawson, bestselling author of Snap Out of It
"Perennial fan favorite Marie Bostwick has done something special. This new novel has all the hallmarks readers have come to love about her books...This big-hearted tale of redemption, family ties, secrets, tough choices, and happy endings is filled with her trademark warmth and wisdom that will leave readers deeply satisfied." — Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author, on The Restoration of Celia Fairchild
"With warmth, heart and hilarity, Marie Bostwick dazzles with a story about taking risks and letting go of the past to make way for the future of her dreams." — Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author, on The Restoration of Celia Fairchild
"With gorgeous writing, Marie Bostwick has hit new heights with this surprising story of one woman's redemption. The Restoration of Celia Fairchild is wise, witty, and utterly compelling.” — Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of The Friends We Keep
"There is lots of Southern charm as well as plenty of sweet tea in this wise and funny novel... Marie Bostwick writes with such warmth and generosity and humor that you won’t want to put this book down." — Maddie Dawson, internationally bestselling author of A Happy Catastrophe, on The Restoration of Celia Fairchild
“Marie Bostwick is my go-to author for feel-good novels. Her writing is always powerful, inspiring, and uplifting.” — Robyn Carr
"Bostwick once again expertly writes on themes of finding your own path, healing relationships, and living a life you love." — Booklist