Terry Gamble, author of ''Good Family'' and ''The Water Dancers''
Photo: Mary S. Pitts
Terry Gamble

I was born in Pasadena, California—the younger of two daughters of resolutely Victorian parents. A strange, pale child, I spent most of my childhood under the piano or on a closet shelf reading books. The Secret Garden was a particular favorite, as was A Wrinkle in Time. Literature, I soon learned, was about transformation and transcendence—a cheap and relatively risk-free exit strategy to an otherwise tedious life. Thus, in fourth grade, I composed one of my first literary attempts: Bertha the Beetle—a four-page epic describing the picaresque encounters of an exoskeletal protagonist... more about Terry Gamble

“Terry Gamble is a gifted writer, elegant, precise, evocative, and humane. Her work is highly intelligent, skillful, and, most important, full of heart and soul. This is beautiful writing.”

—Anne Lamott

''Good Family'', by Terry Gamble

Good Family
A retreat on Lake Michigan for old-moneyed WASPs, Sand Isle has long been the summer residence of the Addison family. A scion of a great American industrial clan, Maddie Addison survived an awkward but sheltered adolescence only to be plagued in adulthood by alcoholism, a failed marriage, and an unendurable loss that sent her fleeing the burden of rigid family expectations. Now, after an eleven-year hiatus, Maddie is returning to the bucolic setting of her privileged childhood summers. In recovery and approaching forty, she is summoned back to Sand Isle, where her widowed mother has suffered a stroke that has left her mute, immobile, and near death. It is here that Maddie must reconnect with her past, assess what she has become, and confront the circumstances that changed her and those she loved forever. more about “Good Family”

Publisher’s Weekly: “Gamble’s evocative second novel... paints a poignant tale that is at once tragic and hopeful.” more...

The Water Dancers

''The Water Dancers'', by Terry Gamble
A stunning voice in literary fiction made her remarkable debut in a moving, lush, and brilliantly rendered tale of the walls between wealth and poverty, love and duty, and a rich evocation of the years following America’s greatest trial and triumph.

Terry Gamble’s The Water Dancers is the story of Rachel Winnapee, a poverty-stricken, sixteen-year-old Native American orphan who goes to work at the opulent March family summer home on the shores of Lake Michigan in the post-World War II summer of 1945. A young woman with no delusions about her place in this world of privilege, she quickly adapts to her role as an obedient servant expected to remain silent and unobtrusive while catering to her employers’ wishes. Surrounded by a wealth she never imagined, she strives to remain invisible, until she is assigned the task of caring for the family’s tragically scarred, emotionally shattered young scion, Woody March. more about “The Water Dancers”

Booklist (starred review): “In this luminious first novel, Gamble... imparts a remarkable sense of place while launching a searing indictment of prejudice, all the while demonstrating a restrained, understated lyricism that only serves to heighten the novel’s power.” more...