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CHICAGO TRIBUNE “BEST BOOKS OF 2004”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY STARRED REVIEW
After one failed marriage and numerous dating disasters, Prudence True Parker teaches Advanced Personal Journey at a community college in Arizona, a class popular with students (mostly older, divorced “Seekers”). Parker’s own personal journey has led to a mountain of debts, and she is beginning to feel desperate. Salvation comes at the local library, where she meets Digby Deeds, aka Mildred Crawley, the acclaimed author of the Savage Passion romance series. Nearing the end of his life, Digby is looking for someone to keep Savage Passion alive and offers Parker the final forty plots of the wildly popular series. Moved more by financial desperation than literary aspiration, Parker reluctantly accepts the bequest.
Just after taking on the project, Parker visits her friendly local psychic who foresees the arrival of a romantic stranger in her life. The prediction comes true with startling speed: At a Native American charity event in Oklahoma, Parker is swept off her feet by a mysterious young Comanche artist, Ray Chasing Hawk.
A month later, Ray shows up on her doorstep and they embark on a passionate love affair. Fired by the irresistible desires their affair awakens, Parker begins writing her first Native American romance. Real life gives her plenty of inspiration for her fictional plot, her home fills to overflowing with visitors—including Native American activists, medicine men, wolves, celebrity dogs, and her own slightly eccentric widowed mother from Hawaii—and Parker eventually finds herself joining several of them on a madcap trip to the Mountain Sun Dance in northern Arizona. In a hilarious, totally satisfying conclusion, the pieces of Parker’s life fall into place at the annual Romance Writers convention in Houston, Texas.
Smartly written and laugh-out-loud funny, Late Bloomer is a high-spirited tale of romance, captivity, and savage love women of all ages will relish
KCRW: Radio interview with Michael Silverblatt
PRAISE & REVIEWS
“Pritchard’s brilliant mix of romance and satire may have a heart made of cactus, but it goes down like hot Indian fry bread dipped in honey.”
“An oddball, oddly moving coming-of-age (young, middle, old) novel that reads as if Shakespeare, Fielding, O’Hara, and Geronimo ravished the spiteful child of Danielle Steele to produce it.”
-Brad Watson, author of The Heaven of Mercury and Last Days of the Dog-Men
“Melissa Pritchard’s latest novel dances out the answers in prose of strong originality–vivid, bold, and wickedly witty. A novel that illuminates our passages as lovers, daughters, mothers, and friends, Late Bloomer is an amazing romp of language and hard-won wisdom.”
-Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Four Spirits and Ahab’s Wife