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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Angry woman Suite



Lee Fullbright



Raised in a crumbling New England mansion by four women with personalities as split as a cracked mirror, young Francis Grayson has an obsessive need to fix them all. There’s his mother, distant and beautiful Magdalene; his disfigured, suffocating Aunt Stella; his odious grandmother; and the bane of his existence, his abusive and delusional Aunt Lothian.


For years, Francis plays a tricky game of duck and cover with the women, turning to music to stay sane. He finds a friend and mentor in Aidan Madsen, schoolmaster, local Revolutionary War historian, musician and keeper of the Grayson women’s darkest secrets. In a skillful move by Fullbright, those secrets are revealed through the viewpoints of three different people–Aidan, Francis and Francis’stepdaughter, Elyse–adding layers of eloquent complexity to a story as powerful as it is troubling.


While Francis realizes his dream of forming his own big band in the 1940s, his success is tempered by the inner monster of his childhood, one that roars to life when he marries Elyse’s mother. Elyse becomes her stepfather’s favorite target, and her bitterness becomes entwined with a desire to know the real Francis Grayson.


For Aidan’s part, his involvement with the Grayson family only deepens, and secrets carried for a lifetime begin to coalesce as he seeks to enlighten Francis–and subsequently Elyse–of why the events of so many years ago matter now. The ugliness of deceit, betrayal and resentment permeates the narrative, yet there are shining moments of hope, especially in the relationship between Elyse and her grandfather.


Ultimately, as more of the past filters into the present, the question becomes: What is the truth, and whose version of the truth is correct? Fullbright never untangles this conundrum, and it only adds to the richness of this exemplary novel.—Kirkus Reviews




It is said that love is comfort, and that comfort comes from recognition of the beloved. Papa was the first to tell me this, and if it’s even a little bit true, then I took my comfort for granted, not realizing that one can’t truly appreciate the beloved until one yearns for the comfort to be returned. Even now, when I can’t sleep at night, when I can’t slow the speeding of my heart, when I can’t stop the replaying of what-if’s in my head, I take myself back to that place where cabbage roses dance on walls and my beloved reigns supreme; where I am queen of his heart and he is my comfort, and then and only then do I feel safe.

You’d think it would be enough, being able to conjure up at least a measure of my old, first love. Yet for a long while it wasn’t. Because I was incapable of stanching the nagging questions about my second, almost greater love. Questioning why Francis hadn’t seen the truth of it like Papa had; that the streak I’d struggled with hadn’t been born of badness; that badness wasn’t an intrinsic part of me like my eyes being blue.

But Francis, unfortunately, hadn’t been able to see through things the way Papa had, and that was because Francis had rarely felt safe. You could see it in the way Francis’s eyes got doubtful taking in a room, and the way he was always biting down on his lower lip. The way it looked as if he was always trying to keep himself from crying.

From Kirkus Reviews
"Secrets and lies suffuse generations of one Pennsylvania family . . . in a skillful move by Fullbright, those secrets are revealed through the viewpoints of three very different people . . . a superb debut that exposes the consequences of the choices we make and legacy's sometimes excruciating embrace."

From Midwest Book Review

"A very human story . . . a fine read focusing on the long lasting dysfunction of family."

"There is something fascinating in labyrinthine plot twists, which is what we have here, and I must applaud Fullbright for her keen and magical ability to pull it off with such aplomb."-Norm Goldman, Montreal Books Examiner and

5 Stars ***** Reviewed by Joana James for Readers Favorite: "The Angry Woman Suite is quite a ride . . . very cleverly written . . . an outstanding novel."

Rating: 5.0 stars Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite:" Lee Fullbright is master of characterization."

Rating: 5.0 stars Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite:
"The Angry Woman Suite is a brilliant, complex, complicated story about talented, complicated people . . . this is a story to remember!"
Lee Fullbright, a medical practice consultant in her non-writing life, lives on San Diego’s beautiful peninsula with her writing partner, Baby Rae, a 12-year-old rescued Australian cattle dog with attitude.        
The Angry Woman Suite, a Kirkus Critics’ pick, 5-starred Readers Favorite, and a Discovery Aware winner, is her first published novel.
Lee will be giving away a $50 Amazon gift certificate to one random commenter at the end of her tour, so follow the tour and comment often. You can find her schedule at


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today

Mary Preston said...

This sounds like story that will reveal more to me with each reading.


Anas said...

Nice excerpt, though a bit of a teaser.

moonsurfer123 AT gmail DOTcom

Lee Fullbright said...

Thanks so much for hosting me and The Angry Woman Suite.

Lyra L7 said...

Always interesting to learn something new in an interesting book!
lyra.lucky7 at gmail dot com

Lee Fullbright said...

Hello ladies, Nice to see y'all again this morning :)

Ingeborg said...

Sounds like a great story.


Ami said...

Hallo lee, what was your favorite part in writing this book?


Lee Fullbright said...

Hi Amy, To answer your question (as to what was my favorite part about writing this book):

Anything to do with Elyse, but especially her opening pages ... I felt comfortable in her head, even with all her challenges.

After that, it was the research (for the backdrops). LOVE research.

MomJane said...

Fascinating excerpt. This sounds like a really good book.

Catherine Lee said...

I like the Kirkus Review. As a librarian, I have the opportunity to consult their reviews when making purchase decisions for my library.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Lee Fullbright said...

Hi Catherine, Thanks for the comment. Yes, I am so thankful for that Kirkus review, which arrived shortly after my agent quit the business—quit the whole pub business!—which is when I almost quit, too … but I told myself that if the Kirkus review (which I knew was due any day) came in even halfway decent, I’d consider it a sign (to stay with The Angry Woman Suite). I about died when I got it—it was emailed to me before publication—and since then, The Angry Woman Suite has been placed in several SD libraries.

Roger said...

Gosh...That must have been tough for you when your agent quit the business. I'm glad that the Kirkus Review kept you going!
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Very intriguing!


bn100 said...

nice excerpt

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Andra Lyn said...

Which character was your favorite character to write??

andralynn7 @ gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chance to win! Really excited now that I've read the excerpt!

Mihnea said...

The premise of your story sounds interesting. I hope the plot and the characters live up to the high expectations you're creating here.

Natasha said...

Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
Sounds like a great read!!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com