September Song
Dec 26, 2013 | 2238 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
IT HAS BEEN seventeen years - half her life - since Emma St. Claire left her native East Texas and moved to Boston. Upon her return from summer vacation when she was seventeen, Emma found her boyfriend, Ethan Abernathy, lying drowned in the lake by her home. The local town folks thought he had committed suicide. Emma blamed herself because of something she had said to him in their last conversation. She never returned to her childhood home until 2013, and returned only to try to recover the complete memories of what had happened the day she found his body in the lake.

Emma St. Claire is a thirty-four year old artist who makes her home in Boston, the city from which her mother came. In late 1996, mother and daughter both left Texas for Boston, and had not returned since. The death of Emma’s boyfriend and the trauma she suffered upon finding him prompted the move for Emma and Grace Donovan St. Claire. Emma knew she had seen something sinister, but a form of amnesia had plagued her since the event. Leaving and getting away from it all was necessary for her sanity. So she moved to Boston, and her mother soon followed.

Emma’s parents were very different. Lucas St. Claire was a rugged East Texan, at home in the piney woods. At home behind the wheel of a pick-up truck or a tractor. He had fallen for his polar opposite, a big city girl from Boston who never quite became an East Texan. Together they had been Emma’s parents for her first seventeen years, but the tragedy involving her boyfriend changed all that.

The sheriff’s office investigated the death of Ethan Abernathy and concluded it was an accidental drowning, which seemed unlikely since the boy was a healthy seventeen year old who had previously performed life guard duties at the local city swimming pool.

While she had been gone on summer vacation, Emma had heard from her longtime friend, Brad Caldwell, that her boyfriend was seeing another girl while Emma was away for the summer. Upon learning that, Emma had told her boyfriend Ethan that she never wanted to see him again. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened. She never saw him alive again.

September Song is a mystery and romance novel by East Texas author Jeanie Freeman Harper, her third published novel in the past year. Her two previous books were also placed in East Texas and dealt with the late 1800s and early 1900s as saw mills and forestry dominated much of the region. Her main character in those two books was Jesse McCann.

Last year I wrote a column about the first book, Jesse McCann. Here is a link to that column in the Gilmer Mirror archives:

September Song takes its name from an old song with the lyric “will I see you in September, or lose you to a summer love?” The song makes several timely appearances in the novel, reminding us that maybe sometimes things really do happen for a reason. A dog which reminds everyone of Ethan’s dog from the 1990s suddenly appears and seems to know everyone already.

There is intrigue involving a powerful local family. There is evidence of moral misdeeds hidden, but not convincingly. There are other worldly indications. September Song is available on Amazon. If you’re in the mood for some East Texas home cooking, this book might be it.

© 2013, Jim “Pappy” Moore,

All Rights Reserved.

Jim “Pappy” Moore is a native son of East Texas who still makes the piney woods his home.
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