Stacey Sauter (Author)


What happens when a fifteen-year old girl awakens one morning to find an abandoned baby in her bureau drawer and then becomes his surrogate mother? "Bouillabaisse" takes readers on a heart-rending journey with Gail Kenealy and her large family; a highly-spirited clan that's abruptly thrust into fostering five of Gail's orphaned cousins - including the newborn and his special needs sister.

It is 1967 and Gail has the happy, carefree, small-town family life that many kids her age enjoy - lots of friends, a tight-knit family, and the innocence of adolescence are bright rays of light for her. But life has a certain unpredictability that has a way of striking at the most joyful of moments. For Gail, that unpredictability will change everything.

When Gail's Aunt Cate dies shortly after giving birth to her fifth child, Gail's mother, Mary Claire, must make good on a promise to raise the children and keep them safe from their abusive father, Francis. With five children of their own, Mary Claire and her husband, Joe, are forced into a dire situation that will change their family forever.

The once peaceful Kenealy household is transformed into a den of chaos and frustration. And as the newfound stress marches toward the breaking point for the family, Gail is forced to hastily trader her adolescent life for the responsibilities of motherhood and the challenges of adulthood. Particularly after her mother falls into a dark alcoholic depression, and her father is largely absent while trying to make enough money to keep everyone under one roof.

Gail and the oldest cousin, Frankie, have different ways of coping but manage to form a unified front when it comes to becoming the de facto parents in the house. Frankie, who is deeply grateful to have a roof over his head and his siblings together, finds much for which to be grateful. For Gail, however, the harsh setbacks cause her to angrily question everything around her - especially the "mysteries" of God whom she perceives to be largely absent in their lives due to the setbacks and disruption of her innocent life. Frankie's example, though, eventually creates a surprising personal empowerment for Gail as she draws on his example of forbearance, uncommon personal strength, and tenacity.

Both of them are aided by the enlightenment that seeps in after befriending a pair of well-meaning nuns, one of whom is a gourmet chef capable of firing up a passion for cooking among the children - something Frankie takes up with great success. Another surprising source of inspiration arises from Frankie's hero, superstar football coach Vince Lombardi. For this family of bewildered and bereaved children, football not only becomes a means to work out their pain, but competitive cooking brings a sense of communion where even the stew known as bouillabaisse becomes a salve for their wounded souls. Through this heartwarming story, readers will likewise commune at the table with this clan of misfits as they learn lessons of survival, forgiveness, love and redemption.

"Bouillabaisse" is a timeless story when it comes to facing life's immense and unexpected burdens, and of finding hope and triumph in the love of family.

Product Details

$15.95  $14.67
Thornton Creek Press, LLC
Publish Date
May 27, 2018
5.98 X 0.88 X 9.02 inches | 1.28 pounds

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About the Author

Stacey Sauter is a native of the Washington, D.C. area and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. She received an undergraduate liberal arts degree from the University of Maryland where she minored in journalism, and followed that with a career at NBC, starting as a legal coordinator in the broadcast network's Washington, D.C. corporate headquarters. From there she worked as a publicist at the network's Washington News Bureau, managing publicity for programs such as "The Today Show," "NBC Nightly News" and "The Today Show." Moving more deeply into the area of news production, Sauter worked on the national news desks for both NBC Radio and Television in New York while attending Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. In 1987 she relocated to Seattle where she took on several senior level executive positions for three national and local political campaigns, then later served as an on-air journalist for KSTW-TV. After relocating to Manhattan in the mid-1990s, Sauter began to pursue her true passion - writing fiction. As a stay-home mom following the birth of her daughter, Sauter finished writing her first suspense novel, Immaculate Deception, which was published by Penguin in 1997 and received a Readers' Pick award by the Washington Post. A second suspense novel, One False Move, was also published by Penguin in 2000 and was eventually optioned for movie development by Quentin Tarantino. Moving back to her native city of Bethesda, Sauter took some time off from writing to raise her daughter, but returned to writing and publishing with the release of a political thriller, Ways and Means (Bannockburn Press, 2010). During that time she finished another suspense novel, but also began work on Bouillabaisse (Thornton Creek Press, 2018), a book which was inspired by true events. A coming-of-age, family drama, Sauter said this book took the longest to write as she had to let the many characters marinate enough before the story fully matured and the characters all had a chance to tell their stories. Following the release of Bouillabaisse, Sauter is gearing up to writing an historical suspense novel, as well as a non-fiction book on real estate. When not writing she is an active real estate agent with Long and Foster and Christie's International where she's been repeatedly recognized and honored as one of the top selling agents in the greater metropolitan area of Washington, D.C. She is also the recipient of four consecutive "Top Producing" agent awards by Washingtonian Magazine, and is a member of an elite corps of luxury specialists in her company.