Homer the Ferret
MY MOSTLY HAPPY LIFE: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree
Homer the Ferret
Homer the Ferret
Homer before he turned white
Homer hugging his “girl friend”
Homer being cute
MY MOSTLY HAPPY LIFE: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree
Publication Date: April 27, 2018 – Arbor Day!
In this fantastical tale, by turns charming and pensive, Shelly Reuben gives us a park-dwelling, talking tree as our storyteller. And from this leafy perch, we too are viewers, observing a communitys unfolding joys, sorrows, memories, and triumphs. Curious children, romantic couples, and sage elders share their experiences, not knowing about the enchanted autobiography underway.The title is a reminder that even the most verdant refuge is never perfect. An interloper determined to bring dissension to the cast of characters must be uprooted. It is in this battle against evilplayed out in scenes ranging from witty to poignantthat the books deeper meanings come to the surface. The black-and-white illustrations have just the right combination of realism and fantasy. Otherworldly, but still human. And humane. Mary F. Holahan – Curator of Illustration, Delaware Art Museum
Among the Characters Within These Pages Meet:
- Samuel Swerling: A World War II veteran and inventor, determined to create a park with trees that positively begged children to leap into their branches and climb!
- Alonso Hannah: A one-armed arborist with a genius for training trees to grow in directions that either defy or improve upon nature, depending on your point of view.
- Esther Swerling: The grandchild Sam always longed for who, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, eagerly answered, I want to be you,
- Ethans Best Friend: A bird named Pal, so valiant and loyal, a plaque about him in Sams park reads: Twix man and bird in such a way; did love and friendship save the day.
- Mike Hurwitz: The Commissioner of Parks, with a passion for flowers, shrubs, and trees, who is absent without leave when his beloved plants need him most.
- Winston the Ferret: A homeless creature who approaches Esther in Sam Swerlings park, whose little eyes say please, and who will not give up until Esther takes him home.
- Jarvis Larchmont: The bully, kicked out as a child, who seeks revenge against the park as an adult and initiates a plan to separate its trees from those who love them most.
- The Narrator: Our autobiographical Climbing Tree, who tells us that Humans are not trained to hear the cries of climbing trees, when stakes pierce his roots and cause him to scream in pain.
Advance Praise for My Mostly Happy Life …My Mostly Happy Life is so delightfully detailed as to setting, characters and plot; Reubens diction so simple, clear and poeticI forgot that a tree was telling me the story. The illustrations by Ruth McGraw are many and lovely. Robert Knightly Author of Bodies in Winter and The Cold Room My Mostly Happy Life brings to mind the Norman Rockwell world of the legendary Saturday Evening Post. The story is told, believe it or not, by a placid tree in a small park envisioned by Sam Swerling This garden, too, has its evil serpent who grows up to become a city councilman intent on doing away with Sam Swerlings park. That conflict affects all who love the park, you the reader, of course, and the characters who hold you in their spell. David Williams author of the novel Second Sight “It is truly amazing what wonderful things can happen when people spend time in a park that is filled with climbing trees.” Indeed it is. Reuben has given a book full of love and gentleness to a world that needs those qualities more than ever. David Stout – Recipient of the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America
ReviewsHuntington News: Shelly Reubens new novel, My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree, is a unique blend of fantasy and realism that captures your attention right up to its climactic chapter. Robert Rusting, Rusting Publications – Friday, April 27, 2018 The Evening Sun: “…brisk story-telling, adroit dialogue, and authentic emotion keep the escapades of the tree and his friends lively and light-hearted.” Mary F. Holahan, Curator of Illustration, Delaware Art Museum – Friday, April 27, 2018 Thoughts in Progress: “This story is filled with highs and lows, sorrow and happiness, and a whimsical outlook that will have you smiling despite yourself. Reuben has a exceptional way of bringing the tree to life as a narrator…The story flows smoothly and at a good pace. It holds you spellbound until the very end.
Book Launch For …
- Friday, April 27, 2018 – Unadilla Public Library – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
- Saturday, April 28, 2018 – Afton Public Library – 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
- Sunday, April 29, 2018 – Guernsey Memorial Library in Norwich – 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
- Saturday, May 12, 2018 – Foxy Loxy in Unionville, PA – 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
- Saturday, May 19 2018 – Delaware Art Museum – Museum Shop – 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
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UNADILLA PUBLIC LIBRARYAfter a successful serialization in The Evening Sun, My Mostly Happy Life will be introduced to the public in book form at the Unadilla Public Library on Arbor Day! This will be a particularly meaningful celebration, because the library’s grounds are home to the giant trees that inspired the climbing-tree narrator in Shelly Reuben’s novel. Join us as Shelly tells a few stories, reads a few paragraphs, answers questions, and introduces us to her ferret, Homer, after whom one of the books most memorable characters, Winston the Ferret, is patterned. Marigold, the goat, will also be present. Petting is encouraged. Poetry contest, too! Get rules at the library. Adults. Children. Come one. Come all. Refreshments. FREE. Date: Friday, April 27, 2018
WHERE: Unadilla Public Library 193 Main Street Unadilla, NY 13849
Contact: Andrea Edwards, Director Phone: 607-639-3131
AFTON FREE LIBRARYJoin Shelly Reuben as we celebrate the publication of her new urban fable, My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree. Shelly will tell us about its creation (the narrator-tree was inspired by trees at the Unadilla Public Library, and the book’s illustrator, Ruth McGraw, grew up in Afton). She will read a few favorite passages, answer questions, and introduce you to her ferret Homer, after whom Winston the Ferret, one of the book’s most lovable characters, was patterned. Petting is encouraged! Poetry contest, too! Get rules at the library. Refreshments. Free! Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018
WHERE: Afton Free Library 105A Main Street Afton, New York 13730
Contact: Ramona Bogart, Manager Phone: 607.639.1212 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GUERNSEY MEMORIAL LIBRARYShelly Reuben, columnist for The Evening Sun, which serialized her urban fable My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree, is coming to the Guernsey Library to celebrate its publication. Shelly will tell us about its creation (the narrator-tree was inspired by trees at the Unadilla Library), read a few favorite passages, answer questions, and introduce you to her ferret Homer, after whom Winston the Ferret, one of the book’s most lovable characters, was patterned. Petting is encouraged! Refreshments. Free! Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018
WHERE: Guernsey Memorial Library 3 Court Street Norwich, NY 13815
Contact: Connie Dalrymple, Director Phone: 607-334-4034 Email: email@example.com
FOXY LOXY COFFEE SHOPPEJoin us on a beautiful May afternoon as we celebrate the publication of Shelly Reuben’s new novel, My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree. Shelly will describe how oddly shaped trees inspired a most unusual narrator, and tell us why she decided to both serialize and illustrate this urban fantasy before releasing it as a book. On a lighter side, Shelly will read a few favorite passages and introduce us to her ferret, Homer, after whom Winston the Ferret, one of the books most lovable characters, was patterned. Petting is encouraged! Come early for lunch, coffee, or ice cream, and chat with the author. Both Shelly and Homer will be happy to autograph your copy of her book! Date: Saturday, May 12, 2018 Rain date: Sunday, May 20th. Same time. TIME: 1:002:00 p.m. WHERE: Foxy Loxy Coffee Shoppe 5 Cemetery Lane Unionville, PA 19875 Contact: Jayne Shea Manager Phone: (610) 347-1928 firstname.lastname@example.org
DELAWARE ART MUSEUM – Museum StoreEdgar nominated mystery novelist Shelly Reuben returns to the museum that inspired so much of her work to talk about My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree. In the tradition of great 19th Century authors like Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Reubens novel was first serialized in newspapers, and is only now being released in book form. And like her predecessors, Shelly’s book is illustrated with artwork that captivates and delights. Join us as she discusses the creation of her enchanting urban fantasy. Mary Holahan, our director of illustrations, will also give us insights into the artwork (some in our own collection!) that has given so much pleasure to past and present readers. Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum Store 2301 Kentmere Pkwy Wilmington, DE 19806
Contact: Jeanie Robino Museum Store Supervisor 302.351.8542 email@example.com