When Clara Was Twelve
During a stay in Paris in 1956, an American girl Clara Foy learns that her mother Lauren had an illegitimate child when she was a teenager living in California. The baby girl was immediately given up for adoption. For Lauren and her family, this was a scandalous event that has been kept a guarded secret until the present moment, when the lost little girl comes onto the scene, now a young Parisian woman named Emma Dusel. Her identity fills Clara with complicated expectations, especially when she learns that Emma’s resentment of Lauren and the abandonment she represents has almost destroyed Emma’s life. Clara attempts to bring about a reconciliation between her new sister and her mother. The effort puts Clara’s own relationship with her mother in jeopardy, the woman Clara loves more than anyone else.
This novel has been reviewed in manuscript by Lit Amri of Readers Favorite. “Clarke skillfully immerses readers in the characters’ dynamics and emotions, and gives them a well-deserved ending. Simply put, I truly enjoyed this compelling read and look forward to reading more of Clarke’s work. 5 stars.”
Note: When Clara Was Twelve is currently seeking publication. If you are a legitimate literary agent or publisher, please contact Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Last of Nico Sombra
Set principally in contemporary Buenos Aires, this novel tells of Nico Sombra, a gangster who has lifted himself from the poorest of beginnings to become one of the richest men in Argentina, and his love for the aristocratic Natalia Faustino. Nico was born in the great Villa 31 slum city that takes up the very center of Buenos Aires. The basis for his fortune has been crime…prostitution, drugs, money laundering and many other activities. His rival, Facundo Dominguez, is an Argentine oligarch whose businesses are the stuff of South American entrepreneurial legend. He has kind, aristocratic manners and a vivid presence, but we learn as the novel unfolds that Facundo is a dark, manipulative figure, once criminally influential to the military junta that ruled Argentina in the nineteen-seventies and eighties.
Argentina is a society that has always struggled with great class differences between the poor and the rich. Throughout The Last of Nico Sombra, the characters negotiate these differences, with often terrifying results. Natalia, in love with Nico and victimized by Facundo, is the figure that foments the ultimate disastrous rivalry between these men.