For the fourth consecutive year, the South Carolina Center for the Book will participate in Route One Reads, a roadtrip-inspired reading list that explores various genres through the network of state Center for the Book affiliates located along Route 1. The book selected to represent South Carolina is The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe.
About the book: Known for her moving characters and emotional honesty, Mary Alice Monroe brings readers a beautifully rendered story that explores the fragile yet enduring bond between mothers and daughters.
Caretta Rutledge thought she’d left her Southern roots and troubled family far behind. But an unusual request from her mother — coming just as her own life is spinning out of control — has Cara heading back to the scenic Lowcountry of her childhood summers. Before long, the rhythms of the island open her heart in wonderful ways as she repairs the family beach house, becomes a bona fide “turtle lady” and renews old acquaintances with her mother that she will earn life’s most precious lessons — true love involves sacrifice, family is forever and the mistakes of the past can be forgiven.
About the author: New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe found her true calling in environmental fiction when she moved to coastal South Carolina. Already a successful author, she was captivated by the beauty and fragility of her new home. Her experiences living in the midst of a habitat that was quickly changing gave her a strong and important focus for her novels.
Mary Alice Monroe writes richly textured books that delve into the complexities of interpersonal relationships and the parallels between the land and life. Monroe’s novels are published worldwide. With the same heart of conservation, Monroe has written two children’s picture books as well.
Her novels have achieved many lists, including the New York Times, USA Today and SIBA. She has received numerous awards, including several Readers’ Choice Awards; the 2014 SC Book Festival Award for Excellence in Writing; the 2015 SW Florida Book Festival Distinguished Author Award; RT Lifetime Achievement Award; and the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing. Most recently, Monroe was named by the South Carolina Academy of Authors as a 2018 inductee of the Literary Hall of Fame.
Monroe’s novel A Lowcountry Christmas won a 2017 Southern Book Prize in fiction, awarded by the Southern Indepedent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA). In 2011, her novel The Butterfly’s Daughter won the International Book Award for Green Fiction. It was also selected as a finalist for the 2012 Book of the Year by SIBA.
Monroe’s novel The Beach House will be adapted into a Hallmark Channel Hall of Fame Movie, starring three-time Golden Globe nominee Andie MacDowell and premiering exclusively on the network in 2018.
Monroe lives with her family on a barrier island outside Charleston, South Carolina. She is an active conservationist and serves on the Board of the South Carolina Aquarium, The Leatherback Trust, and Charleston Literacy Volunteers. She is a frequent speaker at book festivals, conferences, and private events. Monroe is also a frequent contributor to magazines and blogs.
About Route One Reads: The diverse reading list created by Route One Reads highlights each individual State Center for the Book while celebrating the East Coast as a whole. By participating in Route One Reads, readers can travel across 15 states and the District of Columbia without taking a single footstep, or load selected books into the car for a literary road trip. The full list of featured books for the 2018 Route One Reads initiative is available along with a map of participating states at Route1Reads.org.
Route One Reads is a partnership among the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, and its affiliates in: Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Virginia; and, Washington, D.C.
Connecting the 2,369 miles of U.S. Route 1 from Ft. Kent, Maine, to Key West, Florida, the Route One Reads initiative is a partnership between 16 affiliate Centers for the Book to promote books that illuminate important aspects of their states or commonwealths for readers travelling the major and meandering highway. The initiative was launched at the 2015 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. For more information, visit Route1Reads.org or follow #Route1Reads on Twitter.
About the South Carolina Center for the Book: The South Carolina Center for the Book officially began in 1996. We celebrate our rich literary heritage, bringing public attention to the importance of books, writers, and reading. Learn more at ReadSC.org.
About the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress: Established by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. It sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers and collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. The Center for the Book is part of the Library’s National and International Outreach service unit. For more information, visit Read.gov.