Ashes at Grumble Bluff

Young Adult - Coming of Age
234 Pages
Reviewed on 03/20/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Karen Bessey Pease (aka “Kaz”) is a native of the state of Maine and has lived most of her life in Kingfield and Lexington Township.

She makes her home at The F.A.R.M. (Fresh Air and Room to Move,) a 70 acre homestead in Lexington. She is married to Steven and is the mother of two sons and a daughter; Guy, Eli and Josie.

Since 2000, Karen has written a popular column for the local newspaper, The Original Irregular. In her column, “Observations from The F.A.R.M.” she writes humorous and often poignant stories about life in rural Maine. “Observations” has won multiple awards from the Maine Press Association.

Karen offers a writing service and has written dozens of poems commemorating family, friends and community events. People from Seattle to Chicago to Florida, and from Australia to England have used Karen’s poems to help them celebrate special occasions.

Karen has co-authored two Writers’ Tag novels, Bee Dazzle and Following Seas. She currently has three YA novels published; Grumble Bluff and its sequels, Ashes at Grumble Bluff and Home to Grumble Bluff.

In her spare time, Karen takes pleasure from the woods and streams surrounding the family homestead. She is involved in her community and believes that it is important to take an active part in affairs which will shape the future. Karen occasionally performs stand-up comedy to raise money for non-profits and she also welcomes opportunities to speak to adolescents about bullying and the challenges of “growing up”.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Paul F. Murray for Readers' Favorite

Ashes at Grumble Bluff by Karen Bessey Pease is exciting reading for all ages, but particularly for the adolescent through young adult crowd. The novel keeps readers continually turning the pages to see what happens next to the main characters, Katherine Anne Kirby and Greta Rommel. These two best buddies in their early teens support and defend one another as they fend off bullies and seek to assist other kids who have been bullied. Greta has recently lost her father, Billy, to AIDS, and Billy’s parents, known primarily as Gram and Gramps, work hard with the assistance of a friendly judge to secure custody of Greta. Greta’s mother, whom she hasn’t seen in ten years, ran off with another man and now has two stepchildren to care for. But Greta’s mother suddenly appears in Greta’s life again, ostensibly to reconnect, but, more likely — Katherine Anne surmises — to grab the inheritance that Greta may be receiving from Billy. Greta desperately wants to stay in Grumble Bluff, Maine, while her estranged mother, Pamela, wants to keep her in New York City. It’s riveting to see how all this works out.

Ashes at Grumble Bluff by Karen Bessey Pease is extremely well written, with suspense right from the first page onward. Katherine Anne is the viewpoint character throughout, and she and Greta are unquestionably the two main characters, with whom other characters interact. Readers will readily see the interrelationships, as this is an easy-to-follow novel, without 15-20 main characters battling each other for viewpoint time and readers’ attention. The grammar is flawless, making for smooth reading throughout. Karen Bessey Pease is an author who knows her craft, and readers of young adult fiction will delight in getting to know Katherine Anne and Greta. A very well-written novel by an author who takes her work seriously. Nice and refreshing!!