Self-published and Small Press Books

A Jigsaw Life

A Jigsaw Life


Angela Carlton

Author Bio

Angela Carlton is a Georgia native. Her fiction has been published in EWR, Everyday Fiction, Pedestal Magazine, Long Story Short, High Noon, 50-wordstories, and Friday Flash Fiction. In addition, she won the reader’s choice award with Pedestal Magazine in 2006. When she was a child, she wrote a book called, The Magic Fish and tucked it away in a box for safekeeping.


A Jigsaw Life is a series of short stories that are set in the deep South surrounding a woman named Violet, a mother who suffers from bipolar episodes and severe depression. Lilly the oldest daughter, will use her beauty and charm to maneuver through a small Georgia town but this ultimately sets her up for tragedy in the end. Meanwhile, the youngest girl in the family, named Jane must work her way out of the heavy cobwebs of dysfunction. As a further matter, Violet and Jane are left struggling to overcome these hardships in order to prosper or grow. This is a collection of short southern stories that deal with flawed, and profound relationships, from the beginning with Jane, the child who must use her strength and creative energy to endure life with an unstable mother, and later she must learn to rise above her own father’s addiction. In other stories, as Jane grows into adulthood her love relationships are tested when boundaries are crossed and or broken once more, wreaking havoc on the weak. Will she rise or will she fall? Can Jane pick up the jigsaw pieces of a shattered life and find her way back home again?

Book excerpt

Jane´s barely eleven when she takes her first sip of liquor. She’s found the hidden stash that her mother often adds to her coffee between shifts. The proud Dad´s not around for scolding. He left them ALL in May. It was something about another woman that the Mother refuses to discuss. The beauty of the family is fifteen with the pale-green eyes others wish for. She´ll stay tucked away in her bedroom mostly, the beauty, listening to Journey, waiting for anything. She lets boys touch her all over. The beauty brags often of running with “the guys” after midnight. Their weary mother´s working at the all-night diner. Jane´s sick of watching reruns of Addams Family so she mixes the liquor with cola in her red lunch thermos.

Genre Fiction
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