Author: Avery Caswell
Genre: Women’s/Sibling Fiction
Release Date: September 15, 2021
“Based on the harrowing true story of two young girls abducted by a traveling preacher in 1971, this is a novel about delusion and determination, faith and grit, good and evil. Meticulously researched and masterfully written. A stunning debut by an important talent.”– Abigail DeWitt, author of News of Our Loved Ones
“With gentle humor and a profound appreciation for the marginalized lives of her characters, Avery Caswell illuminates the America that’s alongside us, and which many of us rarely acknowledge.”– Arthur J. Magida, author of Code Name Madeleine
“Deep respect and gratitude to Earthell Latta who mindfully decided to untether the festering shame, pain, scars, and cleanse the wound that was whispering to be opened. In the spirit of generosity, celebration, healing, and redemption, Avery Caswell, chosen spiritual creative midwife triumphantly and expertly guides Salvation forward.”—Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate
Summer 1971, Del Munro, a single mother of four, is struggling to make ends meet when Mother Franklin, a traveling evangelist, offers to take her daughters to the beach in Savannah.
For nine-year-old Willie June and seven-year-old Glory, restless at the end of a long, hot summer in Charlotte, it’s a dream come true. To their beleaguered mother, it’s a much-needed reprieve.
But what seemed like a blessing soon turns into a nightmare when the girls are pressed into service by the morbidly obese Mother Franklin whose needs are as outsized as her ambitions.
When the girls fail to return, Del, evasive about the details of her arrangement with Mother Franklin, panics. People begin to wonder if instead of sending her daughters on vacation, she sold them to the evangelist.
Based on a true story, Salvation is an evocative and unforgettable saga about stolen innocence that explores the tragic mistakes made by desperate people and the false prophets who exploit their vulnerabilities.
Avery Caswell was born just north of Chicago, Illinois. From a young age she was always scribbling, filling stenographer notebooks with observations (like Harriet, the Spy) and drawing scenes from Camelot (Franco Nero!). She grew up in various small towns across the Midwest and lived briefly in upstate New York before making the Carolinas home. An interest in the blurred edges between religion and magic, and a love of history inspire much of her writing. Caswell attended Kent State and Purdue Universities, the University of Baltimore, and Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She holds MFAs in theatre and creative writing.