From the author of the award-winning short story collection, To Lay to Rest Our Ghosts


a novel

published on January 18, 2022 from Fomite Press

A Pulpwood Queen Bonus Book Selection for February 2023!

PQ Stamp of Approval

Staff Pick, Union Avenue Books

Excerpted on LitHub!

Finalist in the Indie Next Generation Book Award for General Fiction!

Featured on A Mighty Blaze celebrating Union Avenue Books!

Featured in the St. Paul Pioneer Press Late Winter/Spring Reading List!

“…beautiful….This novel of four generations is rich in nuance and its warmth and generosity leave a lasting impression.”—Southern Literary Review

“An accomplished, confident debut, with complex characters you’ll be rooting for.”—J. Ryan Stradal, bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest and The Lager Queen of Minnesota

“ . . . gracefully wrought . . . . outstanding . . . .”—RAIN TAXI

“…a compelling, complex novel about an ordinary family told in three voices that will capture your heart. It’s one of the best novels I’ve read in years.”—Hungry For Good Books

“…tender…[a] mature depiction of love and sisterhood…Geographies of the Heart is a piercing novel populated by absorbing legacies and instances of forgiveness”—Foreword Reviews

Geographies of the Heart is both riveting and moving, its characters rendered with painstaking and loving attention. I got to know them very well, and the author made me care about them. Caitlin Hamilton Summie is not afraid to go deep, to explore the fears and emotions most of us spend so much time trying to conceal. I loved this novel. I only wish there were more like it.”—Steve Yarbrough, author of The Unmade World

“…Summie writes with admirable nuance.”—Publishers Weekly

“This is one of the best novels I’ve read.  The author gets it all….  I was captured from the first pages and could barely tear myself away from the story of Sarah’s family.  The story feels warm and loving but authentic….  I hope this book gets the recognition it deserves as it is definitely one of my favorite novels I’ve read recently.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and those who want to understand more about the family relationships that sustain us and tear us apart.”—Booksie’s Blog

“In a world that understandably and rightly calls for diversity in our reading, Summie cuts to the core and focuses on universal themes and feelings. The relationships between spouses and between siblings and between grandchild and grandparent explored in Geographies of the Heart underscore some of the basic human commonalities, reminding us of all we share with our neighbors, friends, and community. This is a book I’ll return to more than once. It also has a guaranteed spot on my top-ten of 2022 reads.”—Beth Fish Reads

“Years of secrets, resentments, and words left unspoken force a family to examine the fragile complexities of the heart. A tender yet powerful journey, where bitterness gives way to the determination it takes to stitch lives back together.”—Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

“This beautifully written novel is relatable and communicates the unspoken words that often rob us of having richer experiences with others.”—The Book Review Crew

“Caitlin Hamilton Summie writes like waves cross large oceans. Words, sentences, chapters and stories build with a complexity of wind, current, and underground tectonic force until they crash toward their resolution onshore.  Her debut novel, Geographies of the Heart, is a new force of nature that readers of Summie’s work will love. Intense, searching, intimate in the moment and sweeping in its range, this novel is an oceans-wide meditation on the inseparability of family, and the redemption of loss.”—Andrew Krivak, author of The Bear

“Geographies of the Heart is a landmark achievement in the remarkable writing career of Caitlin Hamilton Summie. This debut novel captivates, pulsing with a deep, cinematic vibrancy. Geographies of the Heart is filled with characters that beguile, enchant and bond with the reader in a brilliant, immersive literary experience.”—The Culture Buzz

“Whenever I’m asked for a short story collection recommendation, with no hesitation I offer up Caitlin Hamilton Summie’s, To Lay to Rest Our Ghosts, which is without question the best I’ve ever read…. The same was true here with her first novel, Geographies of the Heart….Sometimes when I love a book the words flow, and other times I feel like I’m dancing around what to say because all I really want to say is: read this book. It’s brilliant.” —Tarheel Reader

“A book written from the heart by an author who gently reveals a family story that will grab yours…Caitlin brings such nuanced and insightful observations about life and the paths that people choose…There is so much love in this book — the love of family and the love Caitlin has put into her writing. You will find yourself drawn into the story from the very first page.”—Patzi Gil, host of the radio show Joy on Paper radio show

“From beginnings, to taking root, ‘Geographies of the Heart’ touched mine….A most satisfying story that you will surely become invested in as you get to know these personalities, inside and out. A journey which is significant of the authors talent in her caring for the very characters she has so carefully, mindfully, and lovingly created. One that even in the quietest of moments speaks volumes….As these characters remain in a special place within my own heart, I believe they will in yours as well as they prove that although families may not have it all together, together they have it all.”—Wild Sage Book Blog, 5 stars

“This book made me smile and it made me cry….This is one of a few books that I wish I could give more than five stars. The writing is exquisite and the characters are very real. When I finished this book, I coulnd’t pick up another book for a few days….This book will definitely go to my ‘keepers’ shelf where I keep the books that meant the most to me over the years.”—Susan Roberts, Girl Who Reads

Geographies of the Heart is the kind of book you pick up, start to read and suddenly you find it’s the end of the day and you haven’t eaten anything because you got so lost in the story you just never left it….The way this story is told expresses that in a lyrical way that you won’t soon forget.”—Books, Cooks, and Looks blog

Interview on Southern Literary Review: https://southernlitreview.com/authors/virginia-pye-interviews-caitlin-hamilton-summie-author-of-geographies-of-the-heart.htm

If My Book on MonkeyBicycle: https://monkeybicycle.net/if-my-book-geographies-of-the-heart-caitlin-hamilton-summie/

Sarah Macmillan always puts family first, but she can’t quite stretch her arms wide enough to hold on to everyone as they all age: her career-minded, inattentive younger sister, Glennie; their grandparents, who are slowly fading; or a pregnancy Sarah desperately wanted. But it’s her tumultuous relationship with Glennie that makes Sarah feel the loneliest. She’d always believed that their relationship was foundational, even unbreakable. Though blessed with a happy marriage to Al, whose compassion and humor she admires, Sarah shoulders both caregiving and loss largely alone and grows bitter about Glennie’s absences, until one decision forces them all to decide what family means—and who is family. Narrated by the chorus of their three voices, this elegantly told and deeply moving novel examines the pull of tradition, the power of legacies, the importance of forgiveness, and the fertile but fragile ground that is family, the first geography to shape our hearts.


Available for purchase at Gramercy BooksUnion Avenue Books, Barnes & Noble, Page 158 Books, your local independent bookshop and Amazon.