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Cherry Bomb

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Through the combined efforts of a Rolling Stone Magazine photographer, a reporter for the Macon News, and a Catholic priest, a young runaway graffiti artist with a troubled childhood is given a second chance, when she is caught out as the author of street graffiti, and offered a place at the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design. Young and orphaned Mare leaves Mac ...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published 2017 by Dogwood Press
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
Honest descriptions of abuse, so be forewarned. However, it was wonderfully handled and beautifully written. A fabulous story of redemption, art, beauty, and healing. Lovely and one that I definitely think I will re-read.
Disclosure: I am blessed to know the author and am so excited for her.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is being marketed as southern literary fiction, and it's that, certainly. But if that's not your genre, think of it as gritty YA and read it anyway. The young protagonist, Mare, is struggling with the effects of years of abuse, first in a religious cult, and then in a foster home. She runs away, takes to the streets, and finds the voice that her abusers had taken from her in spray paint and blank walls.

But graffiti isn't enough. She needs to express her pain, yes. But she also needs to find
Tonni Callan
Totally Unexpected
Wow! Just finished this book! Even though it is full of heart wrenching bits, the feeling of hope and love prevail! I love a book that cannot be pigeonholed into any one genre. This one covers so many bases! The story has domestic abuse, betrayal, abandonment, a bit of art history, and even some religious history. But the overall story of one’s purposes and happiness shines through the dark.
(Actually more than one character has her own past and demons to deal with, and Susan C
Susan Obryan
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
My favorite novels have been written by authors who incorporate a bit of themselves into the story. They are the ones who take “write what you know” to heart.

Susan Cushman, a former Jacksonian who now calls Memphis home, is among those special authors. First came “Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer’s,” a collection of blog entries documenting her time as a caregiver for her mom who suffered Alzheimer’s. She now has penned her first novel, “Cherry Bomb,” a fictional story t
Melanie Stanek
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it real, so close to home, so beautifully written.
Stephanie Davidson
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This debut novel is a sweet story of redemption that captivates the reader from the very beginning. I was riveted by Mare's experiences early in the novel and found myself rooting for her more and more as the story progressed. Cherry Bomb is an easy yet rewarding read and that offers both understanding of life situations that most of us never experience as well as a call to action to any of us who are able and find ourselves confronting those who need our help.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Susan Cushman, in her marvelous first novel, tells the touching, parallel stories of two female artists, one famous, one not. The intersection of their lives, rendered with passion, acumen and concision, will entertain and enlighten you. The story moves as quickly as running paint, and, in the accumulation of detail, becomes a canny meditation on art and individuality, on spirituality and hope. Its indelible characters, especially its young graffiti artist, will take up residence inside you alo ...more
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful debut novel. This book takes you through the lives of 3 artists who attempt to grapple with the pain and misery of their childhoods. They each use various art endeavors for solice. From throwing up graffiti to Abstract Expressionism to Orthodox Iconography. I learned much. Ms. Cushman is an artist and now she has some proven to be an artist with words also.
Ellen Prewitt
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How satisfying it was to read Susan Cushman’s new novel that advocates for redemption and forgiveness, healing and reconciliation.

This literary novel (Dogwood Press, 2017) traces the life of a young woman in Macon, Georgia who uses graffiti to process the hurt that life has brought her. (I’m pretty much illiterate about graffiti, but the apartment where I live in New Orleans has as its patron saint Jean-Michel Basquiat, so I was pleased to see his name mentioned in the novel’s early pages.) The
Danielle Woods
Fantastic debut novel by Susan Cushman!
The lives of 3 women are shaped by abuse, neglect and art. They each find themselves and the ability to find beauty through their art.
I loved the storyline and the characters. I was an art major in college and I loved the art references and even learned a few things about iconography!
Karen Hatch
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not what I was expecting. It was a great book!
Claire Fullerton
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In Macon, Georgia, a young orphan named Mare gives voice to her childhood trauma by spray painting graffiti on public buildings and signing each piece with the tag Cherry Bomb. Having been born to a cult, on a farm called Heaven’s Gate, twelve-year-old Mare and her mother escape the scene before tragedy hits, yet there is no haven for Mare, when her mother leaves her at an orphanage and never comes back. Placed with a foster family, things turn so badly that Mare runs away and takes refuge on th ...more
Niles Reddick
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cherry Bomb is Susan Cushman’s first novel, but it doesn’t read like a debut novel. It reads like the work of a master.

Cushman is no novice. Her previous books include an excellent and thoughtful work of non-fiction, Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer’s, and the edition A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be, which consists of essays by women authors.

Cherry Bomb is a complex narrative that switches points of view while holding your attention and keeping y
Patricia V. Davis
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get a review copy of this novel along with "A SECOND BLOOMING from a friend who was reading the latter for her book club. A Second Blooming is an anthology edited by Susan Cushman, the author of CHERRY BOMB, and after reading this novel, I now know why she was chosen to edit that anthology. It's hard to believe this is a debut novel. The writing is superb, the story heartbreaking and vivid, and far too believable. The subject matter could not be more timely, in light of all ...more
Audra Gayle
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mare Henry has suffered through years of abuse at the hands of her father and her foster father. Her mother dropped her off at DHS when she was twelve, promising to return. She never did. Mare turns to graffiti art to share her pain and experiences with the world. This leads to a reporter helping the teenage runaway get into Savanna College of Art and Design, which leads her to find a mentor in her art teacher with secrets of her own.

This book surprised me with its depth of emotions. The charac
Catherine Turnage
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Better than I expected! The ending was a bit contrived, but the book overall was very good and well written. I had the joy of meeting Susan at my book club and she is so engaging!
Karissa Sorrell
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-fiction
This was a compelling read about three conflicted characters who find redemption and hope.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
So different! Interesting and heart rending. The author writes what she knows in novel form and I was pretty much glued to the page.
Rebecca J Carter
rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2018
Lucy Hasselman
rated it liked it
Mar 16, 2019
Shannon Eldridge
rated it it was ok
Apr 03, 2019
Anita Stafford
rated it it was amazing
Nov 23, 2019
Karen Goltz
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Apr 14, 2018
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Sep 02, 2019
Vickijo Brozovic
rated it it was amazing
Sep 15, 2020
Tracy Roberts
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Mar 17, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2019
Meredeth Campbell
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May 07, 2019
Randy Pierce
rated it it was amazing
Jun 06, 2019
Julie Cantrell
rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2017
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Susan's fifth book, a collection of linked short stories titled "Friends of the Library," is forthcoming from Koehler Books in August, 2019.

Susan's novel, "Cherry Bomb," released in July 2017. Her first book, "Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer's," was released in January 2017. She was also editor of "A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be," (March 2017) an

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