Genre: Humorous Literary Fiction
Publisher: Boldface Books
Date of Publication: June 7, 2016
Number of Pages: 270
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You’re never too old to learn—or too young
Good-looking, good-hearted Charley Bristow’s the most sought-after hair stylist in five West Texas counties. He’s an expert on the dance floor and sharp at the pool tables, too—but when it comes to picking cars, dogs, and women, luck hasn’t quite gone his way lately. And there’s the ever-present worry over his mother, whose own trailer-park plight he’d just as soon steer clear of.
Just when he’s sworn off temptation of the female sort, an evening at the local honky-tonk drives two prime targets right into his path. Weighing the sudden wealth of options in his love life, while also searching for the right choice of wheels to suit his needs, Charley stumbles upon a long-hidden secret and an unforeseen road to redemption.
The colorful denizens of the Wild Hare Salon, Jarod’s Automotive, and Hopper’s nightclub, along with those of the Briargrove First Methodist Church and the Sulfur Gap Centennial Celebration, will two-step their way right into your heart, to music as familiar as Willie Nelson and Charley Pride. And you just might start to fall in love with an old Johnny Mercer tune, too, as Charley Bristow faces his past and embraces the challenge of his future.
Praise for The Lark
“Good-time Charley” Bristow is a popular twenty-something West Texas hairstylist who’s already dodged two bullets with two failed marriages (the second time, literally). . . . The Lark invites us to join Charley’s friends, the rural cosmopolitans of Sulfur Gap, and ride shotgun alongside this rogue with an honest heart . . . on a journey into his past. Dana Glossbrenner has crafted a totally engaging quest for happiness, set it in a totally genuine contemporary Texas, and delivered up great characters for a great read.
— Cliff Hudder, author of Splinterville and Pretty Enough for You
Charley Bristow takes some things seriously–work, dancing, pool-playing, and women, but maybe not in that order. He finds the true importance of friends and family.
— Rick Smith, San Angelo Standard Times
The Lark is a fun, quick read that is a sweet romance on one level and a much deeper, thought-provoking story on another. Charley is floating through life as a hairdresser in a small Texas town, picking up girls and ruminating on his two failed marriages. All sorts of changes start happening when Charley first buys a “fixed-up” Renault and then reluctantly purchases an unsexy Skylark. The multiple meanings of the word ‘Lark’ all fit here. It’s a car (the Skylark), it’s a songbird (flying to new heights and singing a new song), and it’s an adventure. With the purchase of the Skylark, Charley suddenly spreads his wings and flies out of his comfort zone and embarks on an amazing adventure that reveals family he never knew he had, a brand new love, and a budding understanding of his mother and her past and her amazing metamorphosis as she finds her voice and her strength.
The Lark is a sweet story that is saved from being too sweet by a few antagonistic scenes and the sad reality of the existence of abusive people who want nothing more than to manipulate, hate, and control. The backdrop of family, forgiveness, and compassion makes The Lark completely relatable and entertaining, and the humor and laughter throughout ease the antagonistic tension and make you fall head over heels for Charley. He is frustratingly charming and flawed, and you can’t help but cheer him on as he blunders through his immaturity and emerges as a proud son, a serious boyfriend, and perhaps (just maybe) a future business owner.
The writing is snappy, and the story is enjoyable and full of down-home Texans with lots of attitude!
Dana Glossbrenner’s debut novel, The Lark, features Charley Bristow, a successful young hair stylist in a small West Texas town. His misadventures provide humor, intrigue, and catharsis, as he discovers a lost family history. Women Behind Stained Glass: West Texas Pioneers, a historical work, recounts the lives of women who helped settle the area around San Angelo, Texas.
Glossbrenner taught high school and university English classes and worked as a guidance counselor. She grew up in Snyder, Texas, earned degrees from Texas Tech, Angelo State University, and Texas State University. She now lives in San Angelo, Texas.
She cites Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, and Elmer Kelton as major inspirations for writing about Texas.
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July 25 – August 8, 2016
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