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Story Time

Books by Certain Age Authors

Certain Age is proud to publish established and emerging women writers. Our contributors have written novels, plays, memoirs, poetry collections, essays. If there's a way to express an audacious idea, chances are our authors are doing it. So if you like what you read here, you are going to love what you find in their longer works. 


a novel by Jean Shields

Grief opens doors, sometimes unexpected ones, as Caroline Davies is about to discover. In Chicago to bury her father, Caroline, an event planner by trade, has orchestrated the funeral down to the make-up on her father's face. So why does she feel so blank? After indulging in a few too many - drinks, harsh words, taboo kisses - Caroline runs away. 

"Jean Shields seems to have discovered a new, wonderfully paradoxical genre: the realistic romance." - Antonya Nelson 


Broken Light
Joanne Harris

Broken Light is a bold and timely novel that explores how women can feel invisible as they grow older—and what happens when they decide to take back control. Bernie Ingram is forty-nine, menopausal, lonely. Married, with no close friends and few family ties, she feels as if the past thirty years have been sacrificed to others. Bernie’s own ambitions and dreams have been forgotten by everyone – including Bernie herself. Until the murder of a woman in a local park unlocks a series of childhood memories, and with them, a power that she has suppressed for all her adult life. 

Writing the Life Poetic takes poetry off of its academic pedestal and makes it accessible to (and enjoyable for) everyone. With friendly lessons, engaging prompts, and inspiring example poems, Writing the Life Poetic invites readers to discover and express the poetry of their everyday lives.

“Poems hold us to a higher standard by which we become more visible to ourselves and more authentic in that unveiling. It is only by writing ourselves through this poetry prism – then sharing what we’ve written – that we can arrive at the threadbare intimacies of ‘real’.”

- Sage Cohen, author


And: The Restorative Power of Love in an Either/Or World is an invitation to move beyond binaries, beyond hierarchy and comparison to embrace the concept of "AND," with inclusion and generativity that allow for more than one perspective and/or way of being. This book is for those who want to think more deeply, those who are asking questions of how, what, and perhaps even why, and those who want to engage in deep listening and empathy.

Rains, At Times Heavy tells the story of the Kemp family, seemingly cursed to lose their men to stormy weather. Through vivid landscapes and complex characters, Rains, At Times Heavy explores how one moment, one trauma, can spiral through the generations until a single person steps bravely into its path.


Erica Buist

By the time Erica Buist's father-in-law Chris was discovered, upstairs in his bed, he had been dead for over a week. She searched for answers (the artery-clogging cheeses in his fridge?) and tried to reason with herself (does daughter-in-law even feature in the grief hierarchy?) and eventually landed on an inevitable, uncomfortable truth: everybody dies.

She found herself descending into a bout of pyjama-clad agoraphobia, stalking friends online to ascertain whether any had also dropped dead, unable to extract herself from the spiral of death anxiety... until one day she decided to reclaim control

With Mexico's Day of the Dead festivities as a starting point, Erica decided to confront death head-on by visiting seven death festivals around the world - one for every day they didn't find Chris. 

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Debi Goodwin


Ever since her childhood on a Niagara farm, Debi has dug in the dirt to find resilience. But when her husband, Peter, was diagnosed with cancer in November, it was too late in the season to seek solace in her garden. With idle hands and a fearful mind, she sought something to sustain her through the months ahead. She soon came across Victory Gardens — the vegetable gardens cultivated during the world wars that sustained so many.
During an anxious winter, she researched, drew plans, and ordered seeds. In spring, with Peter in remission, her garden thrived and life got back on track. But when Peter's cancer returned like a killing frost, the garden was a reminder that everything must come to an end.
A Victory Garden for Trying Times is a personal journey of love, loss, and healing through the natural cycles of the earth.

Jeannette Brown

When Jaime Wright returns to her childhood home to say goodbye to her dying father—patriarch of the West Texas village of Silver Falls--she uncovers decades-old secrets that reshape her sense of self and lead her to reimagine her future. Surprised by revelations from the past, Jaime re-sees the present as she recognizes the subtle and tenacious beauty of the remote, gritty, windblown place in which she is more deeply-rooted than she realized. "With keen insight and wry humor, Jeannette Brown’s debut novel, The Illusion of Leaving, depicts the pains and the joys of ageing and of friendship and family relationship to illuminate our deep need for human connection."  –Allen Wier, author of Tehano and Late Night, Early Morning

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