Praise for Alabaster Houses...
    “McLaughlin invites readers on a journey of the heart in this celebration of life, death and what it means to be human...   McLaughlin’s storytelling is superb... A tour de force that makes readers face hard truths about the effect a  person’s choices can have on her soul.”           - KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Debut novelist Lara McLaughlin soars out of the gate with her tale of entanglement, grief, guilt and familial anguish...  A wrenching (story about a) search for peace and absolution by a talented new writer.”  

“A practiced short story writer, McLaughlin’s use of style and language clearly distinguish Jane’s narration from Riva’s memoir in ways that give a truly strong voice to both... 
(their) universal struggles make Riva and Jane two empathetic and compelling figures... With great skill McLaughlin illustrates how acceptance and understanding can sometimes be the only way forward.”

“Alabaster Houses is an invigorating and thoughtful meditation that will leave readers with a renewed appreciation for their own significant relationships... 
McLaughlin's relationships are deep, wide, authentic, and heartbreaking.”  

“Riva is splendid... The author's tour de force, however, is that the reader also comes to feel true compassion and even affection for the often unlovable Jane... Alabaster Houses is a beautifully crafted book with the perfect ending.” 

“Alabaster Houses is a book of secrets...(which) focuses on the strengths women draw from each other, the complex choices we make about what to reveal and what to hide... a journey of discovery that is a joy to read.”

“Incisive and eloquent, McLaughlin lays bare the complexities
of love and loss, joy, and grief”

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Sometimes, the least likely encounter changes everything...
Jane Pepper is a thirty six year old editor in a small Baltimore press. Until the past year her life has been comfortable and enviable, but when her daughter develops leukemia, then accidentally dies, only Jane knows the reason for the accident. Keeping the secret may cost her her family, her career, and her sanity.
Human rights photographer, Riva Hakim, the only child of multi-racial, multi-faith parents, has survived a volatile, itinerant childhood and loveless marriage to gain international acclaim for her work. Now, at fifty-two, and under contract to write her memoirs, she must put away her camera and find a way to frame the past before she can face the future. But that future is turned upside down the morning she finds a stranger named Jane Pepper on her doorstep.
Spanning both sides of the Atlantic from Washington D.C. to the Canary Islands to Sudan, Alabaster Houses is the story of an unlikely friendship between two women who are both at a critical crossroad in life.
                           WINNER OF
      2011 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD                 
                    for  Multicultural Fiction
                 2011 BOOK OF THE YEAR FINALIST  
                                       for general fiction
         Short Listed for the Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award
                     for a debut book of distinction in 2012   
           Honorable Mention for Eric Hoffer Book Award 
                              in General Fiction Category
    Kirkus Reviews 2011 Indie Inspirational List
 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award winner- Summer 2011