Sixteen-year-old Gradle Bird has lived her entire life with her grandpa, Leonard, at a seedy motel and truck stop off Georgia’s I-16. But when Leonard moves her to a crumbling old house, rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Ms. Annalee Spivey, Gradle is plunged into a lush, magical world much stranger and more dangerous than from the one she came.
Here she meets Sonny Joe Stitch, a Siamese Fighting Fish connoisseur overdosed on testosterone, a crippled, Bible-thumping hobo named Ceif “Tadpole” Walker and the only true friend she will ever know, a schizophrenic genius, music-man and professional dumpster-diver, D-5 Delvis Miles.
As Gradle falls deeper into Delvis’ imaginary and fantastical world, unsettling dangers lurk, and when they surface Gradle discovers unforeseen depths in herself and the people she loves the most.
‘Gradle Bird’ is an unusual tale of self-discovery and redemption that explores the infirmities of fatherly love, the complexities of human cruelty and the consequences of guilt, proving they are possible to overcome no matter how dark and horrible the cause.
J.C. Sasser started her career at age twelve, working as a dishwasher, waitress, and cook at a truck stop off Georgia’s I-16. Over her life, she has worked as an envelope licker, tortoise tagger, lifeguard, Senate page, model, editor, water-polo coach, marine biologist, plant grower, software consultant and 6-Sigma Black Belt. ‘Gradle Bird’ was a short list finalist in the 2015 William Faulkner-William Wisdom novel competition, and her other writing credits include the short story and screenplay, ‘The Pigeon Catcher’ (Ceiba Productions 2002). She lives in a restored barn on Edisto Island, SC, with her husband, Thomas, along with their two sons, T.C. and Robert Esten, and two dogs, Cro and Blue Moon June. ‘Gradle Bird’ is her first novel.