1st Prize Winner William
Faulkner Literary Awards
Finding Pluck was lauded for having a “highly readable, sophisticated narrative structure” and for illustrating “a pleasing twist on the traditional bildungsroman, the novel about growing up.”
—William Faulkner Literary Award Judging Committee
It is 1995 in North Carolina and high-school student Taylor Hanes is struggling to escape his small-minded dying textile town. He finds his ticket out by being awarded a full-ride Gay and Lesbian Equality Scholarship to a state university. Problem is, he isn’t gay. He lied on the application. Abruptly, he is shocked by hometown intolerance, and worse yet, he awakens the wrath of the scholarship’s long dead benefactor.
Taylor contends with the hauntings as he continues into college. He joins forces with a group of friends who help him investigate why the benefactor is an unsettled spirit. Along with this and his studies, Taylor is also forced to carry out duties related to his scholarship. These requirements enlighten his understanding of the origins and human cost of prejudice and further his resolve to help the restless spirit find answers in order to cross over.
The narrative deftly moves between the present and when the benefactor attended college in 1927, the pinnacle of the Jazz age and a period of great change and moral conflict. As the friends dig deeper, the story draws parallels in the lives of the characters. This is a coming-of-age novel based on actual examples of the culture of prejudice and connects with the heart as well as with the mind.
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COMBINING THE LUMINOUS TRADITION OF SOUTHERN FICTION WITH THE ENIGMATIC WORLD OF THE MYSTICAL, THIS CAPTIVATING NOVEL TAKES YOU ON A JOURNEY OF EXPLORATION INTO THE HEART OF PREJUDICE.
Reader and Reviewer Quotes
“Finding Pluck is an imaginative coming-of-age story unlike any other.” “Fresh and imaginative, this eloquently written novel defies categorisation among the genres of popular fiction.” (Read review here)
—Connie Flanagan - Everything Indie
“This lively story of growing up, with its mixture of struggle and sadness but also a happy ending, is clearly written and entertaining.” “This novel is highly recommended for all libraries . . .” —James Doig Anderson
Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University for the American Libraries Association Round Table
“. . . inspirational and a reminder of the potential each . . . has to make a positive difference in the world.” —Amazon Customer
“. . . an important and, better yet, a delightfully absorbing novel. . .”—Elliot Engel
“rare find - part mystery, part social commentary, and totally enjoyable to read.” —Amazon reader Richard Roberts
“Finding Pluck addresses the prejudices that separate our society.” Amazon reader Lori H.
“Finding Pluck is a joy to read." "The plot is well-conceived and intricate . . .[and] written with great insight and empathy."—Amazon reader MemoriesMummiesMéxico
". . . well written and easy to read . . ." "I would highly recommend it to others."—Brian Karli
Florida Writers Association