In The Family, a young woman tries to leave a troubled past behind . . .
Seeking acceptance, Eileena Clayton joins a spiritual community, The Family of the Forgiven. Her own pious family has failed her, so she turns to this one seeking love and a place to belong.
As the novel opens, Sister Eileena is punished for her supposed sins of the flesh. The all-male Council––even her fiancé––goes along with the decision to separate her from the community for a period of repentance.
Eileena struggles with her sexuality and rocky past. On her return to the group she’s rebellious at times, making enemies, in particular one of the group’s founders. A visiting reporter warns Eileena of covert struggles within the group’s leadership. Who can she trust?
Death in her birth family calls Eileena home. Secrets she’s left behind – and her sister’s husband – confront her.
Like many young people today, Eileena struggles for identity and self-determination as she searches for a personal belief system. At the heart of the novel’s conflict is the question: Once “called,” is it possible for a woman to escape from powerful, controlling influences?
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Charlotte Gregg Morgan grew up in the “Christ-haunted South” of Richmond, Virginia where religion dictated more than uplifted. Sin and guilt were a way of life.
Her first novel, One August Day, was nominated for the annual fiction award by the Library of Virginia. Protecting Elvis is available on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble. Kirkus Review (Oct. 19, 2016) called the novel “A subtle, affecting glimpse into the lives of a trio of singular women molded by the works and personal character of a rock icon.”
One of Morgan’s short stories is included in The Pushcart Prize Collection XXIV. She holds an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she studied with famed author Lee Smith and “Macarthur Genius” Paule Marshall.
Her fiction explores the lives of women, their compelling inner conflicts as they face the demanding struggles of complicated external lives, and the difficulty forming and sustaining independence.
She is writer-in-residence each summer at Nimrod Hall Summer Arts Program where she works with writers in all stages of their careers. She lives in Lychburg, Virginia with her artist husband John Dure Morgan and two sassy standard poodles.