Books

Click on any of the book jackets below to read reviews and excerpts. All books can be purchased at quality booksellers.

Hoopi Shoopi Donna

Growing up in a small New England town, 14 year-old Donna Milewski had all she needed: a grandmother, Babci, whose fragrant cooking filled their home; her mother, Helen, who lovingly stitched outfits; and Adam, the most wonderful father a daughter could imagine, who dreamed she could one day lead an all-girl polka band. Then along … Continue reading Hoopi Shoopi Donna

This is Paradise

Some of the press for “This Is Paradise” On Television: WGBY-TV’s Jim Madigan interviews Suzanne and the subject of her book, Mags Riordan, founder of the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Cape Maclear, Malawi. On the Radio: Bill Newman interviews Suzanne on WHMP radio’s “The Bill Newman Show. Listen here. In the Papers: The Irish … Continue reading This is Paradise

Becoming Finola

A job offer accepted on a whim lands American Sophie White at the till in an Irish village’s craft shop, and in the position once held by Finola O’Flynn, a woman who’d swiftly left town a few years before. Sophie takes on Finola’s job of creating beaded bracelets, then also takes over Finola’s abandoned home, … Continue reading Becoming Finola

Sundays in America

When Pope John Paul II died, Suzanne Strempek Shea, who had turned away from the Catholic Church of her childhood, pondered her lack of knowledge about the rest of Christianity. The result was her year of visiting a different Christian church every Sunday, a journey that would take her through the broad spectrum of both … Continue reading Sundays in America

Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama. and Other Page-Turning Adventures from a Year in a Bookstore

While recovering from radiation therapy, Shea heard from a friend who was looking for help at her bookstore. Shea volunteered, seeing it as nothing more than a way to get out of her pajamas and back into the world. But over next twelve months, from St. Patrick’s Day through Poetry Month, graduation/Father’s Day/summer reading/Christmas and … Continue reading Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama. and Other Page-Turning Adventures from a Year in a Bookstore

Lily of the Valley

Ever since she pulled a drawing kit from a grab bag on her tenth birthday, Lily Wilk knew she was destined to be an artist. Now her work is in demand around her small Massachusetts town, where she makes her living painting fire hydrants, lettering diplomas, and applying “Gulls” and “Buoys” to restaurant bathroom doors. … Continue reading Lily of the Valley

Selling the Lite of Heaven

The unnamed narrator, ingenuous yet unflappable, is the 32-year-old daughter of Polish immigrants who throughout life have slathered her in Vicks and mild exasperation. Still living under her parents’ roof, she is abandoned not at the altar but for the altar as her fiance leaves her for the priesthood. Attempting to sell her engagement ring … Continue reading Selling the Lite of Heaven

Around Again

When Robyn Panek is summoned by her ailing Uncle Pal to operate his children’s pony ring for one final season on his Massachusetts farm, her years away form the vacation spot of her youth seem an unbridgeable gap. But she is pulled by forces stronger than memory to piece together the events of that last … Continue reading Around Again

140 Years of Providential Caring

The Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, Massachusetts, published this book to mark their 140th anniversary, and the 120th of their incorporation as a congregation within the Diocese of Springfield. Stories and interviews by Suzanne, Tommy Shea and noted New England author and historian M.P. Barker illustrate the fascinating history a group of powerful and groundbreaking … Continue reading 140 Years of Providential Caring

Songs from a Lead-Lined Room: Notes–High and Low–from My Journey through Breast Cancer and Radiation

Songs from a Lead-Lined Room is a memoir rooted in truth and raw experience, with a sure and compelling voice. The lead-lined room is the radiation therapy unit where Suzanne was treated for breast cancer and is one of the settings of this diary she kept over those six and a half weeks, sharing her … Continue reading Songs from a Lead-Lined Room: Notes–High and Low–from My Journey through Breast Cancer and Radiation

Make a Wish But Not For Money

REVIEWS Daily Hampshire Gazette Steve Pfarrer Jan. 29, 2015 For her first novel in several years, Valley writer Suzanne Strempek Shea has been inspired in part by the former “Dead Mall” of Hadley, the Mountain Farms Mall on Route 9 that was largely vacant for many years before being reconfigured with freestanding stores like Wal-Mart, … Continue reading Make a Wish But Not For Money