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Bells for Eli: A Novel

By author: Susan Beckham Zurenda
Product Code: H988
ISBN: 9780881467376
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First cousins Ellison (Eli) Winfield and Adeline (Delia) Green are meant to grow up happily and innocently across the street from one another amid the supposed wholesome values of small-town Green Branch, South Carolina, in the 1960s and 70s. But Eli's tragic accident changes the trajectory of their lives and of those connected to them. Shunned and even tortured by his peers for his disfigurement and frailty, Eli struggles for acceptance in childhood as Delia passionately devotes herself to defending him. Delia's vivid and compassionate narrative voice presents Eli as a confident young man in adolescence--the visible damage to his body gone--but underneath hides indelible wounds harboring pain and insecurity, scars that rule his impulses. And while Eli cherishes Delia more than anyone and attempts to protect her from her own troubles, he cares not for protecting himself. It is Delia who has that responsibility, growing more challenging each year. BELLS FOR ELI is a lyrical and tender exploration of the relationship between cousins drawn together through tragedy in a love forbidden by social constraints and a family whose secrets must stay hidden. Susan Beckham Zurenda masterfully transports readers into a small Southern town where quiet, ordinary life becomes extraordinary. In this compelling coming of age story, culture, family, friends, bullies, and lovers propel two young people to unite to guard each other in a world where love, hope, and connectedness ultimately triumph.
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Reviews

Review by: Jill McCorkle, award-winning and New York Times best-selling author of LIFE AFTER LIFE - December 1, 2019
"BELLS FOR ELI, Susan Beckham Zurenda’s finely detailed, debut novel paints a vivid portrait of Adeline Green who is growing up in the 1970s and maneuvering class differences, peer pressure, and first love."
Review by: Cassandra Conroy, award-winning and New York Times best-selling author of five novels and the memoir TELL ME A STORY: MY LIFE WITH PAT CONROY - December 1, 2019
"A stunning debut, BELLS FOR ELI establishes Susan Beckham Zurenda as one of the most exciting new voices in Southern fiction."
Review by: George Singleton, author of STAFF PICKS - December 1, 2019
"Somewhere between Scout Finch and Mattie Ross comes the remarkable voice of Adeline Green in Susan Beckham Zurenda's BELLS FOR ELI."
Review by: Mary Monroe, award-winning and New York Times best-selling author of THE SUMMER GUESTS - December 1, 2019
"With genuine emotion and a mastery of atmosphere and action, BELLS FOR ELI is a consummate story of determination and love prevailing in a world where cruelty and exclusion threaten to dominate."
Review by: Kristina McMorris, New York Times best-selling author of SOLD ON A MONDAY and THE EDGE OF LOST - December 1, 2019
"A memorable, atmospheric novel of love, friendship, and bonds that surpass all reason."
Review by: Ann Hite, award-winning author of the Black Mountain series and ROLL AWAY THE STONE - December 1, 2019
"Susan Beckham Zurenda is a vibrant new Southern voice. BELLS FOR ELI will remind readers of Pat Conroy's rich storytelling. Vivid and beautiful."

Goodreads reviews