It is two o’clock and Merche knows that her husband and son are at home, waiting for lunch.
She puts the remaining fish—two slippery eels; three flounder; and half a salmon, its flesh plump like a toddler’s—into the refrigerator. As she shuts the door and unties her apron, a woman approaches and asks if she has any sardines. She’d put them aside for the stray cats because they were two days old already, but she says yes, there are seven left.
The woman speaks with a languid South American accent, dropping S’s from the ends of words as if they were too much to ask of her. She wears a coat made of canvas and several silver rings with colored stones. Merche puts the sardines onto a hanging scale. Almost a kilo. She pushes the scale with her finger as she turns the dial to face her and gets them to weigh just over. She tells the woman the price as though she were giving a discount.
“Four euros is fine,” she says. “Está bien.”
To read more, visit ALR’s site.
Just River has accrued the following accolades, so far!
2021 Foreword Indies Finalist (Humor)
2022 Silver Medal, Fiction for Adults, Wishing Shelf Book Awards
2021 SPR Book Awards Finalist
2022 Maxy Awards Finalist (Literary & Humor)
2022 American Fiction Award Winner (Humor/comedy/satire)
2022 IAN Book of the Year Finalist (General Fiction & LGBTQ)
2022 American Writing Awards Finalist (General Fiction & Humor)
Just River is a finalist in the Foreword Indies Book Awards. Thanks, ForewordINDIES, for the recognition. Winners will be announced in June. #humor #finalist #forewordINDIES
Thanks, IndieReader, for the wonderful 5-star review! Here are a few highlights. Click on the link for the full review.
“Sara B. Fraser’s prose is fluid, stylish and filled with exquisite turns of phrase. This may be only her second novel but she writes with immense confidence and a rare compassion for everyday people. There is truth and beauty in the pages of JUST RIVER and it deserves a wide readership.”
“Author Sara B. Fraser builds her fictitious town of Wattsville with great skill and populates it with carefully drawn characters who still cling to their hopes and dreams by the very tips of their fingers. It is a book of planning and failing, of expectations dashed by bitter reality, of trying to make the best out of the hand you are dealt. Less skilled authors than Fraser may have let the setting and themes, of the repercussions of domestic abuse and substance misuse, sink into a quagmire of joyless social realism but in JUST RIVER the characters never let their circumstances crush their spirit. They make mistakes. They have lucky breaks. They fall down. They get back up. They remain exuberantly human. The characters are messy and contradictory and unpredictable and completely believable.”
It’s not The Times, but it’s a Times!!! Check out this mention of Just River in the Cape Cod Times!
“Fraser, a Massachusetts Spanish teacher who was formerly part of the Wellfleet arts community, reveals ‘the bleak and gritty truth’ for one ‘90s family in this novel set in a former mill town on the Otis River. The stalled, post-industrialized community is now rife with poverty, violence and substance abuse. When a young woman is imprisoned for defending herself against a violent boyfriend, her mom and her mom’s best friend plot to prove her innocence, but find some unexpected consequences along the way. Fraser has had multiple pieces of short fiction published and is also the author of the 2019 novel ‘Long Division.'”
“Diverse residents of a small industrial city seek happiness against the odds in a madcap novel about class and love.” Read the full Kirkus review here. “Madcap!” That’s what I was going for! Yay!
My second novel will be published by Black Rose Writing on November 24! Stay tuned!
Stella would still be alive if not for the crazy confluence of factors that, when one considered the probabilities, one-in-a-million, one-in-a-billion, made it seem like the work of some all-knowing orchestrator.
Stella’s husband Hank had cut down the dogwood just two weeks prior. Had the tree been there, it might have blocked the Camaro. Stella had been in a chair in the southwest corner of the sunroom and had dozed off while reading. If her head had slumped to the other side of the armchair, she might have survived.
And there was the fence. Hank had started to rebuild it, as it had been assaulted in slow motion by creeping ivy over the years. So there was a part missing, big enough for a car. The tree. The fence. Either one would’ve slowed or altered the Camaro’s trajectory, kept it from hurtling across the yard, over the dogwood stump—orange mole on the skin of perfect green lawn—and through the flimsy wall and windows next to which Stella slept with a book sprawled across her lap.
You can read the rest of the story in the latest issue of the Jabberwock Review.
“Long Division deals head-on with issues like abuse, alcoholism, and statutory rape. However, at its very core, this is a book about human understanding. It’s a book about recognizing that human beings, even those who are parents, are flawed individuals who don’t always make the right choices.”
To read the full review: go to Onlinebookclub.org
“Long Division, by Sara B. Fraser, is an in-depth, introspective look into the lives of her three main characters, representing three generations of a dysfunctional family. Readers will relate to the subtle family dynamics as each character’s backstory comes alive and intertwines. Fraser narrates a world that encompasses both the cultivated and the corrupt. She interjects into the story the full range of human folly and misery – divorce, illness, alcoholism, betrayal, jealousy, and more. She doesn’t shy away from portraying her characters at their lowest ebb, as they recognize that time has been lost and that beauty and even the meaning of so much of what they once pursued has irretrievably faded away.
To read the full review, go to Authors Reading.