Friday, April 11, 2014
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – April 10 -- As part of the celebration of the Second Sunday on King St. event this Sunday, April 11, a Mount Pleasant resident will be introducing a debut novel with local connections to the community outside the Pauline Books and Media store operated by the Daughters of St. Paul at 243 King St., Charleston.
Philip Buettgen of Mount Pleasant, husband of late author Valerie Lawrence, will represent her to introduce Beyond the Shadow of the Brownstone to the community.
In the book, the pain of abortion, betrayal and accidental death are woven against the steady and sure love of family, faith, and the reassuring presence of the family brownstone that already had sheltered generations of a family.
However, the story outside the book also holds a heartbreaking poignancy. After the manuscript was completed, Lawrence herself became the victim of accidental death in March 2013. Her desire to share this story has led to the posthumous publication of this book, and is a dramatic reminder of how precious and fragile life is, not only for the unborn, as well as for those we know and love.
To honor her passion for this story, Buettgen published the book and represents her to share more about the book and Lawrence's life. He will be on hand to meet participants in the street closure event from 1-5 p.m.
Buettgen is a retired business owner who formerly owned Sweet Magnolias, Designers Showcase Market (now Southern Accents) on Coleman Blvd in Mount Pleasant.
Beyond the Shadow of the Brownstone (ISBN: 978-0-9893722-9-9, $14.95, Carpenter's Son Publishing) is available at bookstores nationwide and online book sites.
Pauline Books and Media is operated by the Daughters of St. Paul and more information about the store is available at http://visit.pauline.org/charleston.
In the story, immigrants Josef and Paula Miller hand down the family brownstone to their grandson and his wife, whose seemingly perfect lives hide wounds and secrets that would eventually tear the family apart.
Not long after launching their teaching careers, the struggles of George and Grace about whether to even have children strains their relationship and begins the slow unraveling of their life together, worsening over decades into emotional estrangement, guilt and betrayal. Against the brittle fabric of their life, George and Grace view the struggles of their adult children from opposite points of view culminating in an irreparable tear in their relationship in the aftermath of the tragic airplane crash that kills their son and leads their daughter-in-law to consider the unthinkable decision to abort the baby she can't face raising on her own.
As Grace seeks to save the one living link to their son, the crisis pushes George and Grace to the edge of an abyss, maybe to the edge of sanity, until betrayal unravels the family and reveals the depth of pain and deception.
Yet the brownstone endures. As Grace begins her new life alone, she must face the guilt and loss of innocent unborns in her own life and family and she dedicates the brownstone to its legacy of love, and to protecting children. For from the beginning, Grandpa Josef and Grandma Paula always believed that children were the key, children and love were always the backbone and legacy of the brownstone.
Ending on a note of hope through faith in a God who forgives, Lawrence leaves the readers with plenty to think about. The author's doctorate in psychology and specialty of working with individual and marriage conflicts makes the characters and their actions believable, and her personal commitment to the unborn shines through the story.
Mr. Philip Buettgen, Valerie Lawrence's husband, represents the book and is available for interviews. TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW OR REQUEST A REVIEW COPY: Contact Joni Sullivan Baker, Buoyancy Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 513.319.323-1513 or 513.319.3231