The Gifts of Pelican Isle by Padgett Gerler
"Gerler's writing is replete with compassion and grace as she addresses issues of poverty, nationality, loss, and love that arise on this small island. The fast-paced narrative style offers a host of plot twists and unexpected developments for the denizens of sleepy Pelican Isle that should keep readers eagerly turning pages. With finesse and wit, the author depicts the power of kindness in healing the human heart. A wholesome and uplifting tale of rediscovered hope, love, and second chances."
"Gerler does a remarkable job with her details—I could taste all of the fried seafood, jalapeno cornbread, and sweet tea that make this book so authentic and memorable. But even more than that, Gerler's true gift is making the reader feel connected to the love and joy these characters offer each other."
—Alice Osborn, Heroes without Capes
"I've come across some talented writers in my time but, in my opinion, Padgett Gerler ranks among the best of the best... At times, it was almost fairy take like in its delivery. No one could possibly read this book and not feel good when finishing the last page."
—Harry James Krebs, The Benjamin Tucker Novels
When Ally Albright's husband and unborn child are killed by a drunk driver, Ally is certain her life has ended, as well. But a request from a beloved professor to teach a first-grade class on Pelican Isle draws Ally from her grief and the security of her parents' home to the remote island off the coast of North Carolina. Though her plan is to teach only until a permanent replacement can be found, Ally is immediately captivated by her enthusiastic and endearing students. Befriended by the islanders, including charming Dr. Chris Cruz and loving yet eccentric neighbor Joy Summers, Ally accepts the community's hospitality and discovers that Pelican Isle is not just a way station, it is a safe harbor for recovery rebirth, and hope—not just for Ally but for all the residents of the island.
Padgett Gerler grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia but relocated to Raleigh to attend North Carolina State University. Upon graduating with a BA in accounting, she passed the CPA exam and began her career as a certified public accountant, first in public accounting and then as a CFO in corporate accounting. In 2010, she left accounting to pursue a career in writing. Prior to The Gifts of Pelican Isle, Padgett published her novels Getting the Important Things Right and Lessons I Learned from Nick Nack. Lessons I Learned from Nick Nack was awarded the indieBRAG Medallion, as well as honorable mention in the 2014 Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards competition. She also authored the short story "I Know This Happened 'Cause Somebody Seen It," which was published in the anthology Self-Rising Flowers. She is the first-place recipient of the Southwest Manuscripters Short Story Award for her short story "The Art of Dying." Padgett and her husband, Ed, reside on pastoral and inspirational Winchester Lake in Raleigh.