Twinkle

Series: 

Author: Patricia Leavy
Twinkle follows Tess Lee and Jack Miller after two years of marriage. Tess is a wildly successful and world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore our innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jack is a federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. As they both heal from past trauma, their epic love, fostered by their ability to truly see one another, has brought them true happiness. However, when an anonymous threat is made against Tess’s life, everything changes. Will they learn to lean on each other, or will they fall apart into the darkness? Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend, who calls her Butterfly; the female president of the United States, who Tess visits regularly to discuss politics and bake cookies; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau, who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby, Jack’s younger friend, who never fails to lend a calming presence. Twinkle is a novel about the nature of doubt, the struggle to feel worthy of love, the relationship of the small part to the greater whole, and the ways in which love – from lovers, friends, or the art we experience – can help us move from trauma to healing and redemption. Written as unfolding action, Twinkle is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy. It can be read entirely for pleasure, selected for book clubs, or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in communication, psychology, social work, sociology, or women’s studies/gender studies.

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Patricia Leavy, Ph.D., is an award-winning independent sociologist and best-selling author. She has published over 30 books, earning critical and commercial success in both fiction and nonfiction. Her books have been translated into numerous languages.
“She's done it again! One of our favorite writers, Patricia Leavy, has a new novel out that is, already, the must-read book of the year. Twinkle is a testament to the humanity in our lives—the joys of love, friendship, and laughter, as well as the challenges of trauma and life-changing events. I started reading it as a gift to myself in the new year, and wished that I had had it to hold in my heart during the last difficult year. You, too, will cherish this novel for all that it holds, for all that it teaches, and for all that it inspires. It’s THAT GOOD. Highly recommended.- Wandering Educators
“Remember that wonderful book you read a while back where you imagined that the heroine had more steel in her spine than you got to see? She’s back, and this time, the steel is on equal display with the softness we treasured upon meeting her. In this new installment of the story of Tess Lee and Jack Miller, Patricia Leavy gives readers a thrill ride that feels at once tantalizingly fast and thoroughly familiar. Every day is an action sequence when we are healing from trauma. Often, the moments that feel the smallest are the ones that require the greatest courage, and sometimes, enormous threats from the outside wind up feeling small in comparison to what we have already faced within ourselves. With Twinkle, Leavy consistently illustrates this essential truth of trauma recovery while delivering laughs and zingers aplenty. In a world where wit is often an underappreciated weapon, this tightly crafted sequel to Shooting Stars sparkles brightly and pierces straight to the heart.” – Alexandra “Xan” Nowakowski, Ph.D., MPH, Florida State University
“In Twinkle, Tess and Jack show us how love of self is what we need to heal and find our strength. Once again, we find Tess struggling with dark shadows until the light of love shines through. Love is like stardust that scatters light into our dark places, illuminating a better path. I cannot wait for the next Tess and Jack novel.” – Sandra L. Faulkner, Ph.D., author of Poetic Inquiry: Craft, Method and Practice
“Tess Lee’s mantra is to change the darkness into light, but we all have things in life that hold us hostage. In Twinkle, Patricia Leavy returns to Tess and Jack’s love story, and we see how far that mantra can take them as they battle external and internal threats. I love these characters, and I think you will too. Twinkle is a captivating read. I highly recommend this novel for pleasure reading, book clubs, or as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in the social sciences.” – Jessica Smartt Gullion, Ph.D., Texas Woman’s University
Twinkle picks up with Tess and Jack following the emotional devastation of Leavy’s introduction to their love story. Fast paced yet still complex, the reader is presented with the first stages of happily ever after, bringing with it both expected and unexpected problems. Like all Leavy works, this novel serves multiple audiences, from the casual reader to the academic. This is her second novel that offers an exploration of contemporary masculinities, showing the many shades beyond the narrow archetypes we’ve come to expect in literature. Moreover, Twinkle investigates the human cost that our security services willingly pay to keep us safe from the terrors at the edges of our civilization. This is a perfect choice for book clubs and summer reads, but would also be ideal as a core novel in a range of courses from history, psychology, social work, sociology, or women’s/gender studies. It could also be used in criminal justice, forensic science, or intelligence studies. Ultimately, Twinkle is contemporary literature at its very best, one that hides its lessons inside perfectly baked cookies that leave you feeling better about the world and the people in it.” – U. Melissa Anyiwo, Ph.D., Curry College
“We could all learn a lot about compassion from Tess Lee! Twinkle is not just a fun sequel for those desperately hoping to spend more time with Tess and her loved ones; it is also a stunning example of love, compassion, empathy, and meaningful relationships that will make you laugh out loud while reminding you about the importance of your loved ones.” – J. E. Sumerau, Ph.D., The University of Tampa
“Tess and Jack are back in a book that is romantic, thrilling, and adventurous. Challenged by the question, ‘Why not live exactly the life you want?’ Tess and Jack explore their greatest hopes and deepest dreads, struggling to be defined by their gifts and not their wounds. Can we ever truly put our past behind us? If not, how do we weave it into our present and future without being stunted by it? Can we continue to contribute if we reconfigure our lives, re-imagine our work? All these deep questions are embedded in a fast-moving love story that will have you turning pages until you’ve read the whole book in one sitting. A must-read.” – Eve Spangler, Ph.D., Boston College
“Patricia Leavy’s psychological thriller, Twinkle, peels back the layers of scars caused by childhood trauma, PTSD, depression, and worthiness, and gives the reader a twinkle of hope that one can overcome the worst of the worst, even in dark times. Twinkle is not the typical feel-good novel; it is much more. As a clinician and educator, it is often difficult to explain the depth of pain that trauma deposits on a soul, and the residue of that pain that lingers many years later. Twinkle provides the depth needed to generate empathy and the insight required to create change. This healing story has made an indelible mark on my soul and I am excited to share it with my students.” – Renita M. Davis, LICSW, PIP, Troy University
“For two decades, author Patricia Leavy has assembled a treasure chest of books that use storytelling to demonstrate the promise and peril of human existence and connection. Her latest novel, Twinkle, is no exception. Readers will be ‘with’ Leavy and her characters as they work through issues of loss and doubt, and cope with the impact these issues have on their relational bonds and lives. Twinkle is an impressive story that will no doubt compel readers to reconsider their own lives in relationship to the characters’ and the relational bonds they maintain (or don’t) with others.” – Keith Berry, Ph.D., University of South Florida
“Once again, I eagerly sat down with Tess Lee and her interesting life: her beloved Jack, her friends, her politics, her literary career, her experiences, and her grace. Once again, I read with gusto, immersing myself in this appealing world of relationships, compassion, and creativity, in a kind of experiential healing. These characters and these books, of which Twinkle is the latest gleaming edition, explore much-needed themes of kind-heartedness, integrity, courage, chosen family, and the power of the arts to heal, challenge, expand, educate, and connect. The latter is my favorite theme and it emerges throughout this series in important, constant, and powerful gestures of advocacy and education. In these times of global disruption and instability, we need the arts more than ever. Leavy well understands that the arts are transformative and important, and I found myself smiling during those moments in the text when I could hear her scholarly voice coming through powerfully and authoritatively. Leavy is well-versed in these terrains and is an absolute champion of the arts, being a veteran arts-based researcher. Twinkle is a shining example of arts-based research. Leavy has always championed the arts in education, and she certainly does so with integrity in this series, through both the telling and the showing, in both the form and the content of this work. Twinkle is beautifully written, crisp, and deeply inviting to read. I wanted to stay with the words and with the beautifully drawn and fully formed characters. They are so vivid on the page; it was as if I were in the room with them. I found myself reading late into the night, waking in the wee hours and picking up Twinkle again and again. I didn’t want to rush my reading either, reluctant to leave the characters, lingering with them for as long as I was able. There are many powerful moments in Twinkle, important ethical themes and actions. Leavy’s accomplished plotting means that events and stories emerge powerfully and convincingly throughout the book. Like her previous title, Shooting Stars, issues of trauma and pain are compellingly and sensitively managed with ethics and grace, written beautifully and offering a comforting and informative experience in the reading, despite the unsettling nature of the subjects. There is so much beauty in Twinkle that stayed with me long after I read the last page: the beauty of our good friends, of healing, of real and steady love, of life’s experiences wonderfully told. I cannot wait for the next book; I’m so hungry for more.” – Alexandra Lasczik, Ph.D., Southern Cross University
“Leavy demonstrates how the residue of the past (e.g., former peers, formative events, gender socialization) can reappear – and sometimes even haunt – present relationships and future ambitions. A vibrant portrayal of insecurity, pain, self-disclosure, healing, and hope; a timely tale of relational time.” – Tony E. Adams, Ph.D., Bradley University
Acknowledgements

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13

Epilogue: Five Months Later
Suggested Classroom or Book Club Use
Author Q&A
Shooting Stars, Chapter 1
About the Author
Communication, Sociology, Social Work, Psychology, Women’s and Gender Studies, General Readers, Libraries