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By Gail Priest

Annie Crow Knoll: Sunrise is a story of loss, grief, survival and the healing powers of friendship and nature.  Annie is a strong-minded girl, who battles with her secretive mother to uncover the truth about her grandmother’s suicide.  At nineteen, she goes against social convention and trusts and relies on Bo, her family’s African American friend and her surrogate father, as she struggles to save the fourteen summer rental cottages left to her by her parents. When the family legacy of depression emerges in her early adulthood, and Annie faces estrangement from her husband and young son, will she be able to embrace the love and acceptance that is offered by someone who has been there all along?
Annie Crow Knoll: Sunrise is the first novel in a literary fiction series by Gail Priest. In this family saga, the ties that bind and tear us apart twine together the people whose lives are changed by Annie’s fierce determination and the beauty of her knoll nestled along the head-waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

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By Gail Priest

Annie Crow Knoll: Sunset (Book 2)
Return to Annie Crow Knoll . . . a place where people come to restore their spirits, heal their pain and reclaim their lives. Annie Crow Knoll: Sunset is the second novel in this literary fiction series by Gail Priest. In this family saga, the healing powers of nature, art, and friendship offer courage to those facing loss and grief.
Nate Bidwell blamed his mother Annie for his parents’ divorce.  Buried hurts and resentments between mother and son make Nate reluctant to risk his heart when his childhood friend Beth Ann offers him her own. Instead, he allows himself to fall in love with the fragile and dependent June, and Annie’s opposition to their marriage reignites years of unresolved conflict with her only child. Nate swears that he will never return to Annie Crow Knoll, his family home on the Chesapeake Bay. Instead, he opens his dream restaurant in Manhattan and tirelessly works to build his career as a chef.
When near-tragedy strikes their lives, though, Nate is forced to return to the one place he hopes may save his wife: Anne Crow Knoll. There, surrounded by the love and support of his mother, their friend Packard, and Beth Ann, will Nate and June be able to face their doubts and fears about themselves, their marriage, and their future?

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By Gail Priest

Book 3) Can be read as a stand alone
Return once again to Annie Crow Knoll . . . a place to grieve loss, accept change, and rebuild a life worth living.
Breezy and Jemma, are world-class cyclists until violence at a race leaves Breezy with permanent physical disabilities and kills the man she loved. With her Olympic dream shattered, guilt and shame threaten to destroy her future happiness. Her sister Jemma escapes with only minor injuries, but the psychological damage she experiences shakes her self-worth, her Olympic potential, and her capacity to accept love.
The young women return to Annie Crow Knoll, their childhood home on the Chesapeake Bay, to heal and reclaim their lives, and with their parents and grandparents, struggle to make sense of life after this tragic and irrational incident.
Annie Crow Knoll: Moonrise, the third novel in this fiction series by Gail Priest, is a story about the power to reinvent life after surviving loss and trauma. (Can be read as a stand alone.)

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The Art of Love

By Peter Stipe
Chamberlain has enrolled as a graduate student at the Rhode Island School of Design, leaving his secluded life on the coast of Maine and his home with an overbearing mother and his academic father.  Mary Flynn has come to Providence from New York City to study at Brown University.  She comes from a proud family with traditional values and brings with her a strict interpretation of her Catholic faith.  It is the first time both of them have lived on their own.  They meet and fall in love.

Patrick is guided by his artistic Uncle Win.  Mary’s mentor is her old professor, Sister Catherine.  Both Patrick and Mary are inspired by the lifestyle of their two artist friends, Aaron, a sculptor and free-spirited Melanie who works with glass.  Can Patrick and Mary reconcile the traditional values they have brought with them to Providence with the temptations of the life they seek together?  This is their story.

The Art of Love considers different types of love and relationships.  At the center is that of Mary and Patrick, built on a natural chemistry, but challenged by their inhibitions and conservative values.  In contrast there is the uninhibited relationship between Aaron and Melanie.  Perhaps Aaron and Melanie’s relationship is doomed.  Other relationships are also in play:  Mary’s sister Margie and her boyfriend Javier who are living together, Mary’s tradition-bound parents, Patrick’s uncommunicative parents, Uncle Win and his partner.

This is not a standard classic love story; boy and girl meet, fall in love, move in together, and live happily ever after.  Patrick and Mary are both so repressed that they struggle with even the most commonplace aspects of their love.  They both want more and neither knows what to do about it.  In the end that is what destroys their relationship.  As Uncle Win advises, “Sometimes no matter how much love you have, it’s still not enough to overcome whatever issues come up.”

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