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How Far Will You Go For Your Friend?


When Abby’s cherished best friend, Stella Rose, is dying from cancer, she asks Abby to assume custody of her teenage daughter. Although Abby has no experience with children, she says yes.

Because that’s what best friends do. They say yes.

Upon Stella’s death, Abby, moves to rural Vermont to take care of Olivia. But Abby struggles to connect with Olivia and she soon finds guardianship of a headstrong teenager daunting beyond her wildest misgivings. Despite her best efforts, and the help of friends old and new, she is unable to keep Olivia from self-destruction. As Abby’s journey unfolds, she grapples with raising a grieving teenager, realizes she didn’t know Stella as well as she thought, and discovers just how far she will go to save the most precious thing in her life.


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Praise for Stella Rose

Warmhearted and sincereStella Rose is a sensitive portrait of loss, friendship and the families we choose.  . . . A big-hearted novel of love and loss, narrated by a woman grappling with grief while caring for her best friend’s teen daughter.”
Shelf Awareness for Readers

“ … stunningwell-written … a novel that will stay with the reader long after reading the book.”
Ann McCauley, Story Circle Book Reviews

For fans of commercial women’s fiction, Stella Rose is a good bet… [Hetrick] doesn’t soft-peddle the dilemmas of friendship and grief. And fans of the genre will love her depiction of The Girls — Abby and Stella’s extended group of margarita-quaffing, ever-supportive friends.”

“I’ve been really lucky with my books lately – I’ve now had three in a row that were exceptional. This book is certainly out of my usual genre but I’m so glad that I read it. It drew me in from the beginning as the writing just seems to wrap itself around you and carry you right into the world created by the author. . . . I felt like I was sitting in the room with these characters, almost like I was a part of the family. It was hard to let go.
Broken Teepee

“What sets it apart from other books of a similar plot is the fact that it’s not simply a sob story about death or the loss of a loved one. Rather, Stella Rose is an exploration of living fully, not in the wake of death, but for the sake of living.
Centered on Books

“This debut novel is beyond amazing! I recommend it to anyone and everyone!”
I’m A Book Shark

“…this novel was as equally heartbreaking, as it is heartwarming. And it’s a definite tear-jerker, but I fully enjoyed it.”
Life of a Female Bibliophile

My heart shattered several times over … I still can’t help but feel that my words of adoration pale in comparison to the effect the actual story has on you.  It was just THAT amazing.”

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers


“Great flow of words, great structure, and really great sense of humor, in spite of the novel’s underlying theme of great loss.”

-Ije Kanu, BellaOnline

“Hardly the stuff of beach reading—but Hetrick has managed to write a book so readable it qualifies as such … Women’s friendships with each other aren’t often as unambiguous as they are in Stella Rose, nor is the world so wonderfully supportive. But Hetrick’s book makes one think it(‘s) all possible.”

-Amy Lilly, Vermont Woman

“STELLA ROSE is a beautiful novel about how powerful women’s friendships can be, what lifelines they can become. It’s also a novel about love—among friends, between lovers, and within families. It’s a tear jerker, a page turner, and a heartbreaking reminder to live life to the fullest, now … I really loved this book … A definite must read!”

Kathleen Kelly, BlogHer

“Tammy Flanders Hetrick has written a marvelous first novel. Stella Rose is the dramatic, clear-eyed story of a dying mother who leaves her beloved friend the most precious legacy imaginable: her sixteen-year-old daughter to raise. Stella Rose is a celebration of love in many forms, from wildly romantic passion to friendship, from eternal family devotion to an abiding love of the world we all live in.”

Howard Frank Mosher author of A Stranger in the Kingdom and Where the Rivers Flow North

“In this fascinating exploration of the interconnectedness of lives, Hetrick mines the ways in which relationships both grow and flounder under the stress of devastating disease, familiarity, and responsibility. Stella Rose takes the reader through the volatile territory of adolescence as a teenager navigates unchartered possibilities replete with equal doses of hazard and potential.”

Yvonne Daley, author of Octavia Boulevard & director of the Green Mountain Writers Conference

“Tammy Flanders Hetrick’s novel Stella Rose proves to the reader that Love is not just stronger than Death, but stranger. Succumbing to illness, a brilliant woman bequeaths her teenage daughter, their home, and a series of instructions for life while grieving to her best friend. Hetrick deftly studies the ties that bind, unraveling mysteries that complicate and, finally, enrich intimacy.”

​—Verandah Porche author of Sudden Eden & recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Marlboro College