Professional Artist with over forty years experience
Alice is twelve, about to be thirteen, and her Grandfather, whom she calls Grandy, has passed a year before. Now the old family home has sold. The family is in the midst of packing everything in the house and in three days they will be saying goodbye to it.
This is all very distressing for Alice, who feels like everything is slipping away. There seems to be a lot of changes, not only with the house, but with herself as well.
Her Aunt Blance, a free spirit and Alice's best friend feels 'Grandy's' presence around Alice. Alice is doubtful, but every now and then she smells pipe tobacco or hears someone calling her name.
Grandy's Gift is a coming of age story set in a small rural town on the Bay of Fundy. It's about family, and the continuity of love, despite change and differences.
Maeve Dawson Vancouver BC
OMG! I could not have explained my experience and love for NB better. There was so much love and meaning in every word. I know that this would truly bring tears to Grandad's eyes. once again i was totally lost in this book. Every book you send is better then the last and your love shines through in every one. You are a tremendous role model for me and there are no words to explain how lovely your book was. Overall Alice and Blanch were my favourites because i saw myself in both of them. You have such talent sara and I never want you to stop writing and sending your books. Always add a little bit of Sara to your books; it truly makes the book an experience:
To the moon and back love Maeve!!(Maeve was 11 when she wrote this. She was the inspiration for the character Alice )
David Blakie Ottawa Ontario
I finally had a chance this morning to sit down and read Grandy's Gift. You are amazing. I found it captivating from beginning to end, though I know nothing about books for young adults. What a lovely story. I thought it pulsed with life from the beginning to the end, and was so touching in its closing that even my old eye teared up. You are a good clear writer.
I was hooked by your opening lines: "When Alice woke, it was early. Looking out the window she could see a thin line of light forming behind the trees and reflecting a yellow ripple on the tidal river that flowed under the lower bridge. She watched an osprey glide high above, hover for several seconds, before plunging down to rise with something twisting in its talons, an eel perhaps. Two eagles circled, also looking for a meal below the water. A crow called. In the distance a transport roared along the highway."
That's lovely description. And throughout your story, with all the emotions that Alice and her family go through in moving out of a beloved house, I was taken by the imagery of southwestern New Brunswick and the Fundy coast. I used to go to New River Beach, and loved it, when I lived in Saint John, so long ago, and over the years, whenever I have been back that way, I've always tried to make a stop there and walk again along that beautiful shoreline. I think your story captures the special appeal of the Bay of Fundy and the landscape of that rugged and beautiful part of the world (your own very personal part!).
Congratulations, this is another wonderful accomplishment. You are one of the most creative people I have ever met. Can't wait to see the finished book with your illustrations. It's a gift to be either a writer or an artist, but a real rarity to be both!
Sheri Larsen Pennfield NB
Grandy's Gift is a heartwarming story. I felt like I was right there with each of the characters. Makes you think about how fleeting and special each moment is and to cherish that no matter where you are. A lovely example of how family can help each other in difficult times. A great book for children 10 and upGrandy's Gift is a heartwarming story. I felt like I was right there with each of the characters. Makes you think about how fleeting and special each moment is and to cherish that no matter where you are. A lovely example of how family can help each other in difficult times. A great book for children 10 and up.
About The Author
Sara Sparks was born in Saint John, NB and graduated with a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She is a productive artist, writer and has a greeting card line "Sparklestein Designs"
Grandy's Gift is her second book. It was inspired by the sale of the family home, The Gillmor House, which had been in her family since 1846 and had been built by her great great grandfather, Senator Arthur Hill Gillmor. She lives with her four cats and two dogs in St. George, NB where she runs Gillmor's Coach House Boutique.