Holly Kays, a reporter for the Smoky Mountain News, grew up in the Appalachian Mountains, then headed west to Wyoming. In her debut novel, Shadows of Flowers, she draws inspiration from both areas, following Virginia native Dana Stullman as she recovers from the loss of her boyfriend, who died just before the couple’s graduation from Virginia Tech. Relocating out west, Dana heals through a surprise friendship and is forced to confront her history through a crisis in the wilderness. “Dana’s situation is particular, but the themes it unearths are universal — the unrelenting need to reconcile past with present, the search for God and the innate desire for community,” Kays says. She’ll read from her book on Friday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. Free to attend. citylightsnc.com. Author photo courtesy of Kays
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