Granddaughter of "The Pinelands Witch", daughter of the self-styled Wizard of the Pines and with powers of her own, eleven-year old Florilla Munion finds herself abandoned deep in the New Jersey Pinelands. Rescued by the itinerant Dr. Peace, she is taken to Benderville, a model mill town in the heart of the Pines owned by the doctor's old friend, the eccentric, progressive Benjamin Bender. There she grows up. But Benderville is only the beginning of Florilla's journey. Her abusive father who knows her powers would benefit his act is a constant threat. She falls in love with an English botanist but is separated from him by circumstance. The story wends its way from the New Jersey Pinelands to the mills of Massachusetts as Florilla searrches for her place in the world and her lost love. Taking place in the years from 1848 to 1857, the novel is also a reflection on a time when various reformers and philosophers speculated on the best ways to organize life and work.
Florilla is a splendid, intelligent nineteenth-century romance that threads social ideas with botany and a memorable heroine.
- Foreword Reviews
The great carousel carvers of the last century were mainly immigrants - German, Italian, Russian - who brought their skills as cabinet makers or carvers of religious icons to America. In the beautiful animals they created for the "golden age" of the carousel, they achieved a synthesis of the old world and the new, past and present.
"Overall, The Carousel Carver is a beautiful little book about carving a niche for oneself in the world and finding love in expected places. Recommended."
--American Historical Novel Society Review
2020 IPP Bronze Medal Best Regional Fiction MidAtlantic
For most people, even the most satisfied New Jersey residents, the words "utopia" and "New Jersey" hardly belong in the same sentence. Yet, history shows that the state has been a favorite location for utopian experiments for more than a century. Utopia, New Jersey explores eight of these early twentieth century communities: Helicon Home Colony, Free Acres. Stelton and the Modern School, Physical Culture City, The Self Master Colony, Roosevelt aka Jersey Homesteads, and Rova Farms.
New Jersey Council On The Humanities Honor Book 2008
"A fact packed book that could be a textbook for a history class yet reads like a novel."
Asbury Park Press
Jared and Clover - young, in love - follow their hippies dream of rural life to Circe, Vermont. But after only a year in their newly created Eden, Clover meets the mysterious, itinerant peddler, Surt Mudspell. Fascinated, Clover follows him through time into the Circe of 1815, where he leaves her. Living the arduous pioneer life she and Jared idealized, Clover discovers a new love but also nature's dark power. When 1816, the legendary year without a summer, arrives, she falls prey to the superstitions of Circe's inhabitants. Only Mudspell can save her and return her to her own time.
"Reality and myth are skillfully blended into a narrative that says much about the inherent dangers of naive romanticism as it does about the awesomeness of the raw, amoral power of nature."
- The San Francisco Chronicle