Book Review: Finding Eliza by Stephanie Pitcher Fishman

Finding ElizaDuring the month of September, my blog posts are book reviews and author interviews. All the authors are fellow Tribe Writers—some of them in my online fiction group, affectionately known as “The Otters.” This week, I’m excited to review Finding Eliza, the debut novel of author Stephanie Pitcher Fishman.

Lizzie Clydell is a young woman struggling to come to terms with her own tragic past—the death of her parents. When her grandmother invites her to a meeting of the local genealogy group, Lizzie agrees in order appease her. After all:

It’s just a little family history. What could go wrong?

She expected nothing more than refreshments (in the form of lemon squares) and a few stories. Instead, her grandmother gives her an old family diary. Lizzie soon finds herself intrigued. Within the pages of the diary is a story of lies, hidden secrets, and a tragic event that nearly destroyed her family and threatens a close friendship.

Finding Eliza is a mix of contemporary and historical fiction. You’ll meet and fall in love with Lizzie’s grandmother and her cohorts—The Gals. (Think Steel Magnolias). Through the pages of the diary, you’ll travel back to the 1930s Georgia in the days of Jim Crow laws. Stephanie does an excellent job of dealing with the hate and turmoil that was unfortunately all too common in those days. What transpires is a powerful story of forgiveness and redemption.

About Stephanie:

Stephanie Pitcher Fish­man is a free­lance writer, ghost­writer, and pro­fes­sional geneal­o­gist spe­cial­iz­ing in Mid­west­ern and South­east­ern Unitedstephanie-pitcher-fishman States fam­ily his­tory. She is the author of seven fam­ily his­tory research guides in the Legacy Quick­Guide series on top­ics includ­ing reli­gious records, cen­sus records, and state-specific research tech­niques. She has also writ­ten arti­cles and blog posts for web­sites such as Archives.com and was a co-founder of The In-Depth Geneal­o­gist. She is also an active mem­ber of the Ohio Genealog­i­cal Soci­ety vol­un­teer­ing by lec­tur­ing on top­ics such as Plain Reli­gions, Quaker research, and intro­duc­ing fam­ily his­tory to children.

To learn more about Stephanie’s writing, including her upcoming novels, visit her website: StephanieFishman.com. Finding Eliza is available for purchase on Amazon.

  • Great review–you made me want to read it and NOW! You also sent me snooping over at Stephanie’s site. What a wonderful treasure trove of information and resources. I consider your review and link to Stephanie’s site a double scoop of ice cream! Thanks, Joan.

    • Sherrey, I think you’ll enjoy the book. Stephanie’s love of family history and genealogy interests me also. She and I often say that if we lived closer, we could go cemetery exploring together. To some that may seem bazaar, but not for those of us who love history. Glad you enjoyed the review!

  • Wonderful review, Joan. And great job introducing Stephanie to your readers. I love her and her novel. (And you too, of course!)

    • Thank you, my friend. Love you too!

  • kathunsworth

    Im a huge fan after reading this book Joan and cannot wait for her next book.

    • Me too, Kath! I’m looking forward to seeing “The Gals” again!