Novel Set in 1950s Wins First Place for Fiction in Literary Awards

The 2013 First Place Winner for Fiction in the Reader Views Literary Awards, Carol June Stover’s “Surviving 26th Street” reminds us of how far we’ve come since the 1950s, and also how the same things still matter to us.

The themes of Carol June Stover’s new novel—issues of displacement, struggling to make a living, and standing up for family—still confront us today. Because such a story strongly resonates with readers, the winner of the Reader Views Literary Awards for General Fiction is “Surviving 26th Street” (ISBN 9781630041021, Publish America, 2013).

In 1954, Winton Justice shocks everyone by deciding to move his Memphis family North, vowing to strike it rich on Madison Avenue and savor the pleasures of suburban life. But his southern family is a poor fit in their New Jersey neighborhood, and his loyal wife Laura feels ostracized.

Then Winton’s advertising agency fails and he becomes depressed and combative. 1950s women are supposed to obey their husbands, but Laura dares to complain when Winton launches a new business selling wire recorders (the very latest technology!) from their basement. Incensed at his uncooperative wife, Winton persists, bringing chaos and financial disaster to his family. The couple’s children are caught in their parents’ crossfire, but when nine-year-old Jane rises above the crisis to help police solve a crime, Laura decides she also can defy 1950s taboos and make a life-changing decision.

Stover’s novel resonates with readers who remember the 1950s as well as those who do not because it reaffirms that despite what we perceive as having been a softer, gentler era, society has progressed in many ways. And the decisions Jane and Laura must make are ones we still struggle with. The connections readers feel to Stover’s characters are testimonials to her ability to write fiction that feels like reality, thus making “Surviving 26th Street” deserving of First Place in the Reader Views Literary Awards General Fiction category.

Reader Views reviews more than 2,000 books per year by self-published and small press authors. Its Annual Literary Awards recognize the very best of these up-and-coming authors. The General Fiction category is usually stiff competition because so many books fit under its umbrella, but “Surviving 26th Street” is that rare book that makes readers identify with its characters and even learn something about themselves.

From the East Coast to the West, readers are unable to put down “Surviving 26th Street.” Jennifer Hass of Reader Views in Texas raves that the novel is “an amazing book! I found it to be completely flawless. Flawless editing, flawless flow and absolutely perfect!” A Pennsylvania reader declares, “It had everything a great story should have—mystery, sex, relationships, cheating, interfering mother-in-laws, and nosey neighbors!” A North Carolina reader admits, “I couldn’t help but get personally involved with the characters. Having grown up in the ’50s, it was a ‘trip down memory lane.’” And a San Francisco reader declares, “Honestly, the first paragraph will draw you in completely! Carol Stover has the best opening line EVER!” To discover what that great opening line is and what makes an award-winning novel, read “Surviving 26th Street.”

About the Author
Carol June Stover launched her marketing career in Boston, Massachusetts, where she honed her writing skills. Her second novel “Surviving 26th Street” was inspired by her growing up in northern New Jersey in the ’50s and ’60s. Ms. Stover now resides in Chicago with her husband Frank. She is also the author of the novel “Current River Redemption” and three nonfiction titles about doll collecting. Ms. Stover is completing the manuscript for “Kenmore Square,” her third novel.

“Surviving 26th Street” (ISBN 9781630041021, Publish America, 2013) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, please contact author. Publicity contact: Review copies available upon request.


Copyright © 2013-2018, Carol June Stover