The world as we know it is built upon choices. If different choices had been made in the past, we might be living in an entirely different world. What if the so-called Lost Colony of settlers in North Carolina were in fact not lost at all but instead merged happily with the Native American tribes to create a new people and unique society?
Sixteen-year-old Charli is living in a pandemic-ravaged 2020 America when she stumbles upon the parallel world of the Q’ehazi. Drawn to these peaceful people, whose constant joy and optimism provides a stark contrast to the suffering and violence in her own life, Charli wants nothing more than to stay with them forever—but first, she must learn to attain a state of grace.
Can she forgive her mother’s abusive boyfriend? Can she learn empathy for her mother? In The World Beyond the Redbud Tree, Charli’s inward and outward struggles will lead her to a discovery she wasn’t even looking for: the beauty of her own world.
Madison C. Brightwell is an author and a licensed MFT with a doctorate in psychology. She has been working as a therapist for fifteen years, before which she worked as a professional actress and in film and TV development. She has written four other novels and three self-help books in the field of psychology. Since moving to Asheville, North Carolina, from her native Britain, Madison has become inspired by the history of this land, originally inhabited by the Cherokee. She draws on many of her experiences helping clients with trauma, addiction, and chronic pain.
Brightwell’s storytelling is vivid and rich and her writing compelling. The World Beyond the Redbud Tree is a fascinatingly adventurous and original examination of life, grief, forgiveness and compassion. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before: captivating, touching, gently magical and ultimately uplifting.
“When Charli turns 16, she wonders what she has to look forward to in life. Since her beloved father’s death in a car accident when she was 12, Charli has been raised by her mother alone, and now they are struggling through a pan- demic with no access to school or friends. Charli is frustrated by her mother’s involvement with an abusive alcoholic and overall feels pretty disillusioned with her life until she discovers a way into a parallel world filled with peace, harmony and love, not knowing that her knowledge of this place could bring about its destruction.—CC Tillery, author of “Beloved Woman” Series of Books
Madison Brightwell has created a tantalizing, mystical tale filled with suspense and adventure. She skillfully portrays the characters’ mindsets and feelings with great depth and has the unique gift of bringing her reader into the world she creates in such a way that the reader will feel as if they are actually part of the story itself and invested in the outcome.”
“Madison has a great way of merging two worlds together in The World Beyond the Redbud Tree. She writes beautifully and has an incredible imagination. She showcases how a young girl Charli is running from her fears but stays resilient and really just wants to be loved. Madison Brightwell is a talented writer and has created a masterpiece. I hope to one day see it on the big screen.”—Kandace Caine, Voice Over Actress of the popular games Hogwarts Legacy and Call of Duty; screenwriter and producer.