“If the heart really is a lonely hunter, then welcome to G. Elizabeth Kretchmer’s Women on the Brink, and its cast of haunted and longing for and compassionately rendered characters. In other words, as generous of heart as they are lonely in its pursuit, these stories testify to what it means to be human, and hopeful, even against the odds.” ~Jack Driscoll, author of The World of a Few Minutes Ago
“…a multi-faceted short story collection especially recommended for women who want thought-provoking, literary, accessible pieces that will stay fresh and impressionable long after the first reading.” ~Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“Combined with poetic soul-searching vistas and an extremely versatile literary range between mother-and-daughter-like connections . . . and at times a Quentin Tarantino lingo-like boldness, Kretchmer tells her edgy tales.” Gail Galvin, Windy City Reviews
Women on the Brink is a stunning collection of loosely linked stories in which women aged thirteen to ninety must face the unwelcome realities of their lives. Sometimes gritty, sometimes humorous, and always compassionate. G. Elizabeth Kretchmer’s prose takes the reader on a compelling ride alongside these women as they wrestle with family relationships, self-esteem, socioeconomic status, maternal obligations, and need for independence.
Each story is enhanced by one of fourteen original poems contributed by talented poets specifically for this collection and its themes. Although the stories stand alone, they are further strengthened by the relationships among the various characters throughout the collection. Readers of Ms. Kretchmer’s first novel, The Damnable Legacy, will also delight to find that some of the characters from that novel have reappeared here.
The women in this collection may or may not be the type you’d invite over for lunch. Some of them are tough. Some aren’t all that likeable. Some might not see the world the way you do. But they’re compelling in their own right as they reflect women in today’s world–women who have come along a difficult path–and as they courageously take control of their lives.
What Readers Are Saying
“These stories are universal – the fear of change, the desire for independence, the difficult relationships between and among family members. By exploring these themes through characters at different ages, in different locations, and from different social-economic backgrounds, Kretchmer enables the reader to understand more fully that all of us have the same wants and needs, no matter our own background.”
“G. Elizabeth Kretchmer has given voice to several women’s contemporary issues, opening conversations about topics that are often not discussed “out loud”. A great gift for any woman, regardless of age, it is also one you need to give yourself. I guarantee you will reread these stories several times.”
“At times, the author seemed to be speaking to the rebel in the reader as well as the character.”
“Kretchmer’s writing is honest, it’s real, and it’s a vital stem that connects to all her female readers on a fundamental level.”
The Damnable Legacy: a Novel
“Engrossing, winning, and compelling, The Damnable Legacy uses poetic language, an unusual narrative approach, and compelling scenes to move between the beliefs, events, forces and choices that shape both Lynn and her daughter Frankie’s lives, exploring how each is lost in different ways, and how they come together. The result is a story that is hard to put down and which follows faith and how it withstands even the most adversarial of conditions to blossom from the storms of life, evoking connections and (ultimately) forgiveness.” ~Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“The Damnable Legacy is equal parts nail-biting adventure, love story, and family drama, and an entirely engaging read.” ~IndieReader.
“In her first novel, Kretchmer has undertaken the crafting of a complicated, intriguing storyline and done so admirably. She takes her readers on a journey of love, loss, and self-discovery. In the end, rather than tying it predictably together with a pretty bow, she gives only what is necessary—a sense of hope, the most these characters can ask for.” ~Shannon Konoske, Silk Road Review
“…wholly original and unique…the perfect book-by-the-fire read.” ~Michelle M. Burwell, Windy City Reviews
“And this, like The Lovely Bones, was done well.” ~Lloyd Russell, The Booksage
Lynn Van Swol still regrets the decision she made thirty years ago to place her daughter for adoption so she could climb the highest mountains of the world. Frankie Rizzoni is the troubled biological granddaughter that Lynn has never known. And Beth Mahoney, a minister’s wife with terminal cancer, is the only one who has discovered the relationship between the two. Worried about Frankie’s future, she designed a plan upon her deathbed to bring them together, but now, narrating from the afterlife, she must helplessly watch as her legacy threatens to unravel.
The Damnable Legacy is a story about both love and survival, exploring the importance of attachment, place, and faith, and asking how far we should go to achieve our goals–and at what cost.
What Readers Are Saying
“Once you start reading this compelling book, get to know the characters’ inner thoughts and experience their life situations, you won’t want to put it down.”
“I chewed my nails, I cried, I sighed in relief and I reread passages like this one: ‘Imagine an ocean of choppy waves as far as you can see, then replace the waves with peaks of snow and granite, and you can imagine our view.’ Awesome right? I recomend this book to anyone.”
“At times heartwarming and at times heartbreaking, G. Elizabeth Kretchmer has created an unforgettable cast of characters in her debut novel..When I finished I realized I was left with a series of characters that I would reflect on and wonder about for years to come.”
“G. Elizabeth Kretchmer is a beautiful writer who managed to weave a complex story into a flawlessly written book. My entire book group loved this book because it is creatively written in a way that causes readers to be unable to put it down.”
“As a creature of habit, I have my personal list of go to authors. Kretchmer has just been added to this list. I’m anxiously awaiting the next!”