Press for The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly
The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly is listed as #1 on POPSUGAR’S list of Best New Historical Fiction Novels of 2023
Secrets, Then and Now, a review from The MV Times. “Sherbrooke masterfully captures the essence, time, and places she writes about.”
The Lori & Julia Book Club from Talk 107.1 in Minneapolis raves, “We LOOOVED this book…We couldn’t put it down…Hello, Reese Witherspoon!” One of my favorite live interviews with two people who know books well. Listen to the interview here
The Independent Voice says, “With her ability to craft inspiring American figures with timeless issues, Sherbrooke immerses readers. The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly highlights how the power of hidden love, in all aspects, can shape the trajectory of so many lives.” Read the full review on page 5
WBZ’s book review host, Jordan Rich says “How can you not jus teat up a novel like this?” and that the book “rekindles the Golden Age of Hollywood in a stunning way.” Jordan is a radio veteran and book aficionado who knows how to dive deep into what’s important in a book without giving anything away! Listen to the episode wherever you get your podcasts. The Apple link is here: “On Mic”
A written interview with Dead Darlings and Tracey Palmer in which we discuss how to create a great plot twist and the messy journey of the writing and publication process.
Want the quick take? Watch this fun 5-minute Book Bite from Edgartown Books and Martha’s Vineyard Arts and Ideas.
Behind the Words, an interview in Reader’s Entertainment
Listen to A Bookish Home in which we discuss the process of turning family secrets into fiction.
Watch an interview with Authorlink, as we talk about how memoir can help fiction writers, the importance of unintended consequences in good storytelling, how the life of women differed between the 1940s and 1970s, and advice for new writers.
Q&A with Deborah Kal Books in which I talk about mother-daughter relationships, how I researched Broadway in the 1970s, and how Lauren Bacall factors into the novel.
Listen to HerStory on the Rocks PodCast: A conversation with Allie and Katie, including an original Aster Kelly cocktail recipe!
Watch Books & the World: A conversation with Madeline Holt about writing, Hollywood, Broadway and all things Aster Kelly, plus the writing journey and the importance of a source of craft and community like GrubStreet.
Advanced Praise for The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly
“The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly is an immersive, tender story about the long journey back to our true selves, and to finding real love. In creating Aster Kelly, Katherine Sherbrooke has given us a singular and unforgettable character.
—Sarah McCraw Crow, author of The Wrong Kind of Woman
“Elegantly told and heart-wrenching, The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly delights from first page to last. Come for the Old Hollywood glamour; stay for the love letter to Broadway; leave with characters so real you’ll forget they live in the pages of a book. One thing is certain—Katherine Sherbrooke sure knows how to tell a story.”
—Lisa Duffy, author of My Kind of People
“Infinitely readable, atmospheric and emotionally charged, The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly follows Aster, an ambitious young woman in old Hollywood who is following a dream she can’t quite catch. But it’s her journey to find enduring love that makes the pages fly. From the glamorous runways of Hollywood to the glittery shores of a summer island, Aster Kelly won’t disappoint with its ability to surprise and delight the reader with its twists and turns. Book club fiction at its best.”
—Brooke Lea Foster, author of On Gin Lane
“In The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly, Sherbrooke deftly weaves an intimate look at forbidden love, heartbreak, and life-changing secrets, into a journey through decades of braided worlds of fashion and entertainment from New York to California.”
—Randy Susan Meyers, Bestselling author, Waisted
“Katherine Sherbrooke’s The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly takes us from the haute couture runways of 1940s Hollywood and its galaxy of stars, to the quaint island of Martha’s Vineyard, to the Broadway footlights of New York City in the 1970s. Richly detailed and sumptuously costumed, readers will love the behind the scenes look at the struggles and triumphs, lives and loves of entertainers on both coasts in two different eras.”
—Juliette Faye, USA Today bestselling author of Shelter Me and City of Flickering Light
“Sherbrooke writes both the fashion and entertainment worlds with such authority, it’s hard to decide whether to applaud this book more for its deft use of setting or for the plot twists that had me gobbling up pages in record time. As informative as it was fun, THE HIDDEN LIFE OF ASTER KELLY also delivers when it comes to the characters of Aster and Lissy, a mother and daughter entangled in a web of lies stemming only from the best of intentions. Immersive setting, original story, and true emotion, this book is a triple threat. —Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg, Author of Eden and The Nine
Reviews and News for Leaving Coy’s Hill
Leaving Coy’s Hill selected for the New York Times 2021 Summer Reading List
Leaving Coy’s Hill wins Honors in Fiction from the Massachussetts Book Awards
“Sherbrooke’s story brings a deeply personal perspective to the vast struggles for freedom that rocked a nation.”
“The story is both heart-wrenching and inspiring. A great book club read!”
– Dead Darlings, Meet the Author. Read the full review and interview
“The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are strong, passionate, and determined. And the plot, using a story within a story, is a fascinating tale of life, love, bravery, strength, loss, loyalty, friendship, motivation, politics, and the early battle for equality and justice in the U.S.” Read the full review on What’s Better than Books
“There are certain books that you come across that leave such a profound and lasting impression.” -Gwendalyn’s Books
“It is a moving, impeccably researched biographical novel about a woman who in her own day was as important to the feminist movement as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but today is little remembered.” –Historical Novel Society, full review
“Oh my gosh, I just loved this book!” – Jenni, Tar Heel Reader (Instagram @tarheelreader)
Chosen for Best in Historical Fiction.
“Sherbrooke does a brilliant job of creating a distinctive and vibrant voice for Stone, which is all the more impressive considering we have very few of her speeches surviving today. While reading this book, I was often reminded of the musical Hamilton, not only because the protagonists are both important historical figures who were largely written out of the official narrative, but also due to similarities in their personalities (their relentless energy, gift for speaking, unwillingness to compromise on what is important to them) and, of course, the question of legacy, which both works deal with beautifully.” – Read full Kindled Spirits review
“Leaving Coy’s Hill is the perfect novel for you if you love strong women in WWII novels but are tired of WWII novels. I was blown away by the strength, tenacity, wisdom, triumphs , and challenges that Lucy Stone faced…and the plot twist midway through the novel kept me hooked…whether you’ve been reading historical fiction for years or have been intending to dip your toes into the genre, this is the perfect summer book club pick for you.” – Katie.reads
“Katherine A. Sherbrooke breathes new life into the story of Lucy Stone with her novel, Leaving Coy’s Hill. Stone’s struggle to forge a marriage of equals; balance her career and family; and find fulfillment in a difficult profession, where emotions run hot and colleagues become rivals, is a story as timely today as it was in her time.” – Read full Rose City Reader review
“You do not want to miss this one!” Reeca’s Pieces
“The best sort of historical fiction, teaching about real lives and events through an engrossing story.”
-Bookloons, read the full review
Videos and Podcasts
Reading with Robin on Instagram Live
Storey Time with Stephanie Storey
Top Shelf Live brought to you by Carol Ann Tack (podcast)
A Mighty Blaze: Authors love Bookstores, with Semicolon Bookstore (video)
Author Q&A with Boulder Bookstore (video)
Reading & Writing Podcast with Jeff Rutherford (podcast)
Interview with NF Reads (article)
Finding Lucy Stone— Historical Novel Society (article
Advanced Praise for Leaving Coy’s Hill
“What could be more timely than Sherbrooke’s gorgeously fictionalized and page-turning account of Lucy Stone?… A stunning look at timeless issues, all told through the lens of one extraordinary heroine.”
– Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and With or Without You.
“Katherine Sherbrooke has brought the daring, dauntless, silver-throated Lucy Stone to vivid life, giving us a thoroughly modern heroine whose bold vision has still yet to be fully realized more than a hundred years after her passing. An inspiring, provocative read.” —Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men
“A powerful and stirring portrait of one of the most influential women in the equal rights movement. Thanks to Sherbrooke’s skillful storytelling, Lucy Stone is no less inspiring today than she was 170 years ago. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself ready to march!” – Isla Morley, author of The Last Blue
“This propulsive and astonishing story transported me to another era while compelling me to think deeply about questions that are as relevant today as they were in the 1800s: What is equality? What will we sacrifice for our principles? What makes a person whole? Immersed in stunning detail and evocative voices from the past, I came to deeply respect Lucy Stone’s tenacity, admire her passion and eloquence—and love her for her humility and her lasting power. A beautiful story that shines a powerful light on values we still struggle to realize and uphold.” — Katrin Schumann, author of This Terrible Beauty and The Forgotten Hours
“Sherbrooke taps into the current moment with authenticity and vulnerability, outrage and heartbreak. You’ll shake your head and raise your fist as Lucy Stone, suffragist and abolitionist, fights maddeningly familiar battles—for pay and property, for physical safety and bodily autonomy, for universal rights and freedoms, and to etch her own name into the history books and prove she is no one’s relic. Leaving Coy’s Hill is deeply moving and profoundly relevant.” –Susan Bernhard, author of Winter Loon
“Powerful and moving, Leaving Coy’s Hill deftly examines the lifelong ambitions and friendships of abolitionist and suffragist Lucy Stone as she balances family and work, personal pain and public responsibilities, the strong pull of home and the prohibitive demands of the road. With an acute sense of place and an assured hand, Sherbrooke gives Lucy Stone the exposition and recognition she deeply deserves while bringing to light buried truths about the underbelly of the women’s rights movement in the United States. A beautiful meditation on advocacy and courage with a heroine who is impossible to forget.” – Marjan Kamali, author of The Stationary Shop and Together Tea
“Sherbrooke paints a vivid portrait of this often forgotten American figure who inspired a nation to think differently about women’s rights. Unforgettable and unputdownable, this novel will remain in memory long after the last page has been turned.”
– Crystal King, author of Feast of Sorrow and The Chef’s Secret
“Sherbrooke brings Lucy Stone back to life with this passionate and inspiring novel that lays bare the enduring struggle to steer between love and career, and the fight to challenge the people and laws holding us back. Timeless and stunning, Leaving Coy’s Hill reminds us to fight, to love and to appreciate the power of passion – passion for ideas, people, and women’s rights.”
– Rachel Barenbaum, author of A Bend in the Stars
Leaving Coy’s Hill is a poignant work of historical fiction which portrays the life of Lucy Stone, a leading suffragist and abolitionist of the Civil War era. With incredible elegance and insight, this novel strikes a perfect balance between historical setting and a rendering of the inner woman. I delighted in Lucy’s character, her quirks, ambition, loves, as well as her friendships and connectedness to important figures of the time. While Leaving Coy’s Hill illuminates the timeless female struggle for equality, tight roping career and motherhood, and achieving financial independence, its crowning achievement is an authentic, poetic voice. Sherbrooke’s language set the clocks back a hundred and fifty years with its soothing, measured cadence. Clear your calendar for this one, it’s an impossible-to-put-down, must read.” — Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg, author of Eden and The Nine
“Lucy Stone is the heroine we all need right now. Author Katherine Sherbrooke brings the real historical figure of Lucy Stone to life as a stubborn and fierce defender of women’s rights and the rights of Black Americans in an 1800’s United States not quite ready for her message. Through her poignant and beautiful story about one woman’s fight for justice two hundred years ago, Sherbrooke quietly reminds us all that the battle still isn’t over.” — Julie Carrick Dalton, author of Waiting for the Night Song