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Sara Zarr

The protagonist of Sara Zarr’s recent novel Once Was Lost, Samara Taylor, is the teenage daughter of a pastor who leads a small congregation in the desert of eastern Oregon. In the midst of a series of traumatic events “Sam” develops a fascination for xeriscaping, the art of creating a garden that needs only a…

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Young-Adult Fiction Comes of Age

By Hannah Faith Notess Book Review

The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas (Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2008) Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes (Hyperion, 2005) Trouble by Gary Schmidt (Clarion Books, 2008) Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (Little, Brown, 2009) AS A TEENAGER, I was given several novels in a series of inspirational young-adult (YA) books. On their pastel covers, modestly sweatshirted girls with big hair and…

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Wrestling with Sunday Mornings

By Sara ZarrJuly 31, 2015

This past Saturday afternoon I warned my husband, “I’m not going to church tomorrow.” In the morning when he went off early to help with music for the service, I went for a walk, made bacon and eggs, sat by an open window, and read every single page of the New York Times.

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A Prayer for my Father

By Sara ZarrDecember 7, 2010

It’s Thanksgiving evening, 2005. And even though this is your last chance to see us, you can barely look. But this is nothing unusual. You’ve always had trouble seeing us, your daughters who, in spite of you, are here. The hospital is deserted, as if no one else in the city is dying today. Instead,…

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Airbnb and the Art of Hospitality

By Sara ZarrJuly 13, 2015

Though Airbnb is born of modern times and technology, it almost seems a throwback to the art of innkeeping in much earlier eras when for a reasonable fee people opened up extra space in their homes, however humble, to strangers. And to me it’s somewhat remarkable in our suspicious age that people would do this. Hosts are making themselves and their things vulnerable by leaving their homes and appliances and personal belongings in the hands of unsupervised strangers. Guests are trusting that the space will be as advertised, and relying on the hosts for good information and functional plumbing.

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That Kind of Love

By Sara ZarrOctober 25, 2011

As of October 18, my fourth novel, How to Save a Life, is officially out in the world. The plot involves a death, a pregnancy, and an adoption. Recently, a fellow writer said he thought it interesting that I, the same person who wrote about not being a mother here at Good Letters, had written a…

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Shop Talk with Priscilla and Aquila

By Sara ZarrOctober 5, 2011

My one-year Bible has me in Acts. It also has me in Kings, but I’ve temporarily abandoned the rulers of Aram, Elisha and his floating axe heads, and the mysterious woman of Shunem. I’m hoping to regain some sense of the world depicted on the pages as at least distantly related to present reality as…

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Moving Day

By Sara ZarrSeptember 15, 2011

In my Father’s house are many mansions. Also, there’s a pretty neat treehouse out in the yard. I built it myself. I don’t have a lot of DIY skills and it shows. It’s made mostly of pieces I’ve scavenged here and there: driftwood, planks “borrowed” from nearby yards, and, frankly, a few remnants better left…

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The Things You Know

By Sara ZarrAugust 9, 2011

As of August 18th, my husband and I will have been married twenty-one years, and have known each other for a total of twenty-four. It’s easy to believe after all of that time that I know everything there is to know about him. There’s something wonderful about that, the comfort and ease and shorthand that…

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Married, No Children

By Sara ZarrMay 18, 2011

As I write this, Mother’s Day is nearly upon us. It can be a painful day for some women who are my age or older, and, like me, childless. For me, the day doesn’t arouse any emotion other than regret that once again I’ve failed to get a card for my mom. My husband and…

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