Literary First Love – Kristyn Kusek Lewis

Today’s post from Kristyn Kusek Lewis | @kkuseklewis

Kristyn Kusek Lewis

It is 1980, maybe 1981. A spring Saturday afternoon. Every window in the house is open. Bob Seger blares from the stereo in our family room. My parents are cleaning house—mopping the floors, mowing the yard, clearing the cobwebs from the windowsills.

I am six or seven, sitting in an armchair by a window that looks out to the backyard, my legs flopped over one side, Little Women in my lap. I would assume this position—different books, different chairs–thousands of times over the course of my childhood. But this first memory? Little Women.

The book is over my head—it’s the first “big book ” I’ve ever opened—but I am desperate to understand it. I’ve just recently visited Orchard House, Louisa May Alcott’s childhood home, which is just ten miles down the road from where we live in Sudbury, Mass, and my mind is blown by the fact that this big, giant book was written essentially down the street, on a “shelf desk ” that Louisa May Alcott’s father built for her.

In time, I’ll read and fall deeply in love with the book and it’s characters, particularly Jo, who is brash and bold and writes elaborate plays for her sisters. Once I’m older, I’ll appreciate that the book was perhaps the first to portray young women in such a strong and independent way. It will also become a favorite of mine for the way that it exalts the sacred, almost holy, relationships that women have with each other, whether they’re sisters by blood or by fate.

These types of relationships are exactly what I had in mind when I began writing How Lucky You Are, my novel about three women and their longstanding friendship. I wanted to write an authentic story about women’s friendships—not the shoe shopping, Cosmo sipping froth of it all, but the real stuff: the way that we hide from each other to avoid hurting each other, the nitty-gritty, tear-stained, up-all-night talks that save us, the way that we can love our friends so much that we would truly, and absolutely, do anything for each other.

We’re giving away a copy of Krisyn’s novel HOW LUCKY YOU ARE today. Just leave a comment on this post to be entered.

Waverly, Kate, and Amy are the very best of friends—a tight-knit trio that’s always had Waverly at its center. But suddenly Waverly’s role as the group’s anchor is being tested. The cozy bakery she runs faces financial ruin because of her mounting debt, and her long-term relationship feels stale rather than secure. Independent and headstrong Kate is married to a man who’s on track to be the next governor of Virginia, but larger, unsettling questions are brewing in their future. Stay-at-home mom Amy has a perfect life on paper, but when a horrific secret threatens to reveal itself, she panics.

As life’s pressures begin to tear the three women apart, Waverly knows she has some big decisions to make. Soon she will discover that the lines between loyalty and betrayal can become blurred, happy endings aren’t always clear-cut—and sometimes you have to risk everything to gain the life you deserve.


About Marybeth Whalen

Marybeth Whalen is the co-founder of She Reads, mother of six, and life-long reader. She is also the author of two novels with a third out in July: The Mailbox, She Makes It Look Easy, and The Guest Book.


35 Responses to Literary First Love – Kristyn Kusek Lewis

  1. Jayne D. October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    This sounds like a wonderful story and I would love the chance to read it. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

  2. Elisabeth October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Love the cover! Can’t wait to win, I mean read your book!

  3. Tammy October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Looks like another great book! Can’t wait to see how the author fleshes out the characters.

  4. Janet October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Looking forward to reading this book. Judging by the brief summary, it sounds great.

  5. Wanda October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Looking forward to adding this to my list of must-read books.

  6. Evelyn October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love stories about female friendships and look forward to reading this one.

  7. Martha Reynolds October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I loved Jo in Little Women, too! And I was probably the same age when I first read it, but I too had to go back and re-read the book several times as I grew older.

    Great post!

  8. Pam October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I am really looking forward to read a book that is about real women not just the fantasy ones.

  9. rhonda October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Love reading about women’s friendships.

  10. jill hoke October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a great book. Can’t wait to read it.

  11. Linda October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    The book reminds me of my sister-in-law. She has two sisters that are older than her. When you have the opportunity to visit with her, her sisters are “mothering, smothering” her. The next time, no one is seeing each other nor speaking to each other. It is a beautiful relationship I get to see from the outside, as she is married to my brother, my only sibling. I would love to read your book!

  12. Polly Schneider October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks for a chance to win this book, it sounds like a great read. I would love to win it.

  13. Kim October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    would love to win this book! Thank for the chance!

  14. jghannah7 October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    sounds like a great book – wish i had some close female friendships – seems its harder and harder with everyone spread out and so busy….

    I also read Little Women way before I could possibly understand it, but its one of the few books that I read early that I remember…

  15. Paula Dolin October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win!

  16. Katherine Jones October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Loved Little Women, also one of my first “big” reads. (I read my mom’s copy, which she kept from childhood, whose pages were stuffed with magazine clippings of the movie version starring June Allyson and Elizabeth Taylor.) Also love stories about women’s relationships, so would relish the chance to read How Lucky You Are.

  17. Teresa Harding October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I would love to have the opportunity to read and share your new book. It already has my heart.

  18. Carl October 22, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I never actually read Little Women myself but I know that both of my sisters did and enjoyed it a great deal. I know that my wife would enjoy How Lucky You Are so I’m taking this opportunity to try to win a copy for her. Thanks for making it available.

  19. Teresa October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I have been meaning to read this book for ages. I’m really looking forward to it. (no need to enter me in the giveaway)

  20. Amber October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    This sounds like a wonderful story, and I would very much enjoy reading it.

  21. Kim October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a really good book, can’t wait to read it!

  22. Kathy October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I love two things – that Little Women inspired you and that you have written a book about women’s friendships. They have sustained me and I hope they further your career. I hope to read your book!

  23. Janice October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I loved reading Louisa May Alcott when I was growing up and I still have her books on my shelf. How Lucky You Are sounds like an inspiring read!

  24. Arin October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Can’t wait to read it!

  25. Bonnie Walker October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Would love to have a gift copy of this book…I read widely, most of your selects I selected also…have just finished Blackberry Winter on my iPad, and own Violets of March as a book to lend. My friends and I save and lend many, many. So please enter my name.

  26. Kim October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I loved the book Little Women too! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of your book!

  27. amy b. October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Little Women is a first favorite of my own. I feel like I’m just beginning to learn about the importance of relationships with other women… I’d love to have my name entered in the chance to win.

  28. Ruth O October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Found so many good things to read through this blog and this book sounds like one to add to the list! (so many books, so little time)
    Mom to 5 girls, we’ve all loved Little Women, too.

  29. Janell Kessler October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    LOVED Little Women! This post gave me the idea to get the book for my 12 year old. Hope she finds it as good as I do.

  30. Susan Coster October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I am lucky to be ALIVE because I have beat cancer THREE times!

  31. Carla Torrijos October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I hope I AM the lucky one!

  32. Shannon Brown October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I love books about friendships. I could not face a single day without my girlfriends… Shannon Brown

  33. Gean October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a good read – sign me up!

  34. Christy L November 4, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Look forward to reading this book. I’m a big fan of Sarah Jio and saw that she reviewed this book too!


  1. young love | Kristyn Kusek Lewis - October 23, 2012

    […] had fun writing about my “literary first love” for Check it out here (and enter to win a copy of HOW […]

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