Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Mary Alice Kruesi  

Pen Name: Mary Alice Monroe


Born: Evanston, Il.


Illinois Connection


Biographical and Professional Information


Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Beach House
ISBN: 0778322947

Mira. 2006

Known for her moving characters and emotional honesty, Mary Alice Monroe brings readers a beautifully rendered story that explores the fragile yet enduring bond between mothers and daughters.

Carette Rutledge thought she'd left her Southern roots and troubled family far behind. But an unusual request from her mother -- coming just as her own life is spinning out of control -- has Cara heading back to the scenic Lowcountry of her childhood summers. Before long, the rhythms of the island open her heart in wonderful ways as she repairs the family beach house, becomes a bona fide "turtle lady" and renews old acquaintances with her mother that she will earn life's most precious lessons -- true love involves sacrifice, family is forever and the mistakes of the past can be forgiven.

ISBN: 0778322068

Mira. 2003

Mary Alice Monroe returns to the captivating and mystical South Carolina lowcountry, a place of wild beauty and untamed hearts, to tell the moving story of healing, hope and new beginnings . . .

E.R. nurse Ella Majors has seen all the misery that she can handle. Burned-out and unsure of her next step, she accepts the temporary position as caregiver to Marion Henderson, a frightened five-year-old who suffers from juvenile diabetes.

But Ella soon realizes there is more sorrow in the isolated home than the little girl's illness. Harris Henderson, a single father, is withdrawn, seemingly better able to deal with wild birds he rehabilitates in his birds-of-prey sanctuary than with his own daughter.

Then something magical begins to happen: the timeless beauty of the South Carolina coast and the majestic grace of the wild birds weave a healing spell on the injured hearts at the sanctuary. But a troubled mother's unexpected return will test the fragile bonds of trust and new love, and reveal the inherent risks and exhilarating beauty of flying free.

The Book Club
ISBN: 0778327086

Mira. 2008

New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe invites you to meet five remarkable characters as she explores the power of friendship with tenderness, honesty and understanding

"Outwardly linked by their monthly book club meetings, five diverse women in suburban Chicago come to realize that they share more than just the books they read as they struggle with a number of life-changing issues and discover the true meaning and power of friendship."—Library Journal

Girl In The Mirror
ISBN: 1587247399

Wheeler Publishing. 2004

A New York Times Bestselling Author

Charlotte Godowski was used to horrified stares: she'd learned to accept her facial deformity. Until one cruel incident compels her to have surgery that changes her life. Now Charlotte Godfrey, she is beautiful beyond compare. In Hollywood, her rise is meteoric. Suddenly, she has everything she could want: love, acceptance, and a future. But she can trust no one with her secret. Then fate forces Charlotte to deal with the truth . . .

Turtle Summer: A Journal for My Daughter
ISBN: 0977742350

Sylvan Dell Publishing. 2007

This is a companion book to Mary Alice Monroe's adult novel, Swimming Lessons, (Mira), the sequel to The Beach House. In the novel, the readers witness a young mother, Toy, writing a journal for her daughter, Little Lovie. Turtle Summer: A Journal for my Daughter is the journal Toy is writing. Using original photographs, this scrapbook journal explains the nesting cycle of sea turtles and the natural life along the southeastern coast, including local shore birds, shells, and the sea turtle hospital. Adults and children will enjoy the images, information and journal with or without the novel.

Swimming Lessons (The Beach House)
ISBN: 0778326446

Mira. 2008

The cycle of life of the turtles of the Isle of Palms has special meaning for the turtle ladies who watch over them. Every season brings new life and new challenges as the turtles make their way back to the ocean.

Turtle lady Toy Sooner has faced her share of challenges. The single mother left an abusive relationship to raise her young daughter. She's found meaning working at the aquarium, but she's not sure she's ready for the challenge of starting a new turtle hospital…or a new relationship with her boss, Ethan.

As the summer progresses and the turtles take their steps toward healing and freedom, Toy must find her own strength to face her fear and move courageously toward the future.

Time Is a River
ISBN: 1416544364

Gallery Books. 2008

Rehabilitating from breast cancer in a North Carolina mountain sanctuary, Mia London discovers the lost journal of a 1920s fly-fisherwoman, whose writings inspire Mia to reconnect with the natural world and investigate a local secret. By the author of The Beach House.

Last Light over Carolina
ISBN: 1416549706

Gallery Books. 2009

A New York Times best-selling author presents the haunting story of a Southern shrimping village where, after a boat goes missing, the entire town rallies to find the lost vessel and its captain Bud Morrison. 75,000 first printing.


-- The Maggie Award for THE BEACH HOUSE