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Kent State University professor Stephanie Siciarz, of Stow, will have a book signing for the release of her book, “Left at the Mango Tree,” at the Learned Owl in Hudson Oct. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m.
“Left at the Mango Tree” is already available on Amazon.com.
“It took eight years,” said Siciarz. “There were six months where I didn’t even look at it.”
Siciarz never had a doubt that her book would be finished. She spent the time in between writing taking classes at a writing center in Washington, D.C. and working full time at the IMF (International Monetary Fund).
“Alignment of the planets,” is what brought Siciarz to finish Left at the Mango Tree. “Certain things just fall into place when they’re meant to. I always knew I would finish it.”
Siciarz is currently an Italian instructor in the modern and classical language studies department at KSU. She was previously an Italian-English translator at the Department of Treasury.
She earned her B.S. in modern languages at Georgetown University, an M.A. in romance languages at The Catholic University of America and an M.A. in writing at Johns Hopkins University.
“Left at the Mango Tree” is Siciarz’ first fiction novel and, set in the Caribbean, tells a story of mystery from the perspective of Almondine Orlean.
“She will reconstruct the efforts of her grandfather-a book-loving, magic-hating Customs and Excise officer named Raoul-to explain his new white grand-baby, a case of island magic if ever there was,” said the book’s Amazon description.
Siciarz said the book’s setting is influenced by the time she has spent in the Caribbean. She visited Granada and the West Indies, which Siciarz described as “the warmest place on earth in every sense of the word.”
Siciarz made friends, went to graduations and funerals and saw the personality and the poverty of the areas first-hand.
“We stress about our first-world problems and they have many more reasons to stress,” said Siciarz. “Even these darker things and negative human characteristics are taken with a grain of salt.”
“Left at the Mango Tree” has a slow, easy pace; the pace reflects that of island life.
“Because at the end of the day it’s about the big picture,” said Siciarz. “It’s light-hearted and there is no platform.”
Reader feedback has been positive. Siciarz has entered and become a finalist in several contests and won the Amazon Break-Through Novel Award.
“Now that the book is out, readers can get their hands on it,” said Siciarz.
“Left at the Mango Tree” is available in print and on Kindle.
Siciarz has a second novel ready with the third one on the way; both use the same characters as “Left at the Mango Tree.”
Although the books are related, each can be read independently of the others.
“It tells the story of Almondine’s grandfather’s quest,” said Siciarz. “It’s not your typical whodunnit.”