Three members of a loving Minnesota family have a voice in Caitlin Hamilton Summie’s new thought-provoking novel-in-stories, Geographies of the Heart (Fomite 2022). Sarah, the eldest daughter, Al, Sarah’s husband, and Glennie, Sarah’s younger sister take turns telling their story. The book begins with Sarah and Al’s courtship, their relationships with Sarah’s aging grandparents, their courtship trials, and their dream of being parents. There are moving chapters about Sarah and Glennie’s grandfather, his army buddies, his slow decline, and chapters about the family quilt, the aunt who disappeared, Sarah’s relationship with her grandmother. There are also heartbreaking chapters describing Sarah’s painful relationship with Glennie, her sister, whose dream of going to medical school and later career as an OB/GYN are all-consuming. Sarah is constantly disappointed by Glennie’s absence, until one day, everything changes. Everyone grows in one way or another throughout the course of this novel, which is ultimately about remembering and respecting the past, initiating or accepting forgiveness, and showing up for those we love.
Caitlin Hamilton Summie earned an MFA with Distinction from Colorado State University, and her short stories have been published in Beloit 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. GEOGRAPHIES OF THE HEART, her debut novel, was inspired by three stories in her story 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. When she’s not writing or marketing books, Caitlin loves pending time with her family, including their Aussiedoodle. She also loves reading, movies, and taking walks.