Asheville writer releases first novel
Marie Bartlett will be reading from her new novel, "Pearl, MD" at 3 p.m. March 15 at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville.
She has dedicated more than 25 years of her life as a creative non-fiction writer and public relations consultant.
Born in Melbourne, Australia to an Australian mother and an American father, she has published non-fiction books, hundreds of feature article in print, plus two non-fiction books where she worked as a ghostwriter.
It is not surprising to learn she is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors and Western Writers of America. She earned a master’s degree in education from Western Carolina University, not far from her home in Asheville.
“Pearl, MD” is her first novel, which evolved from many years as a nonfiction researcher and a love of history, especially the late 19th century. A sequel is planned in which her main character travels west to the Arizona Territory in 1884. After making a medical mistake that cost a mother and her infant their lives, can a young independent woman find redemption at a time when society doesn’t trust female physicians?
In 1883, Dr. Pearl Stern is haunted by guilt and self-doubt. Hoping for a fresh start in the small mountain town of Asheville, she vows to keep her past a secret as she leaves her Missouri home. Though she finds support from the city’s imposing chief of police, it’s only a matter of time before the tragic incident she left behind resurfaces, threatening to destroy her new life.
Bartlett’s historical novel “Pearl, MD” explores the conflict women faced within the rigid roles set for them by nineteenth century society. The book’s themes are tolerance, forgiveness and the ability to face some of life’s toughest choices.
Bartlett has woven her enlightening tale with great skill, according to author Tommy Hays, director of the Great Smokies Writer Program at the University of North Carolina — Asheville. In his review of her book, Hays calls it “a remarkable work from a first-time novelist. Marie Bartlett brings her characters to life in ‘Pearl MD.’ Cinematic in scope, her historical fictional work leaves the reader wanting to know, on every page, what will happen next.”
Taylor and Seale Publishing, of Daytona Beach, Florida, published the book. “Pearl, MD” can be purchased for $14.95 through the publisher, Barnes&Noble.com, Amazon.com or download the e-book on the Kindle.