Local Christina Holbrook plans to sign copies of debut novel ‘All the Flowers on the Mountain’ to Next Page Books & Nosh Sunday

“All the Flowers on the Mountain” is Christina Holbrook’s debut novel. Holbrook wrote the “Lark Ascending” column for Summit Daily News from 2016 to 2022.
Ashley Prine/Courtesy Image

Long-time Summit Daily News readers may recognize by Christina Holbrook Last name. The Summit County resident wrote the “Lark Ascending” column for five years from 2016 to 2020. Hailing from New York and New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the non-fiction column detailed what it was like to do the transition to life in the West.

Holbrook moved to Summit County in 2014 to be with her husband, Alan Dulit, whom she married in 2018. Holbrook said Dulit was a good friend from high school, but they separated after graduation. Yet 35 years later, they started dating from a distance.

Now, the 61-year-old is once again drawing on her personal experiences for her first fiction novel, ‘All the Flowers of the Mountain’. The book was released on Monday, July 4. It tells how Dr. Michael Pearce sees a sculpture by artist Katherine Morgan, and the pair attempt to rekindle a relationship that began when they were teenagers by a New Hampshire lake.

The book begins in the present, travels back in time, and then returns to the present showing how defining the rural summer was for both of them. Filed under women’s fiction, the tale is meant to be enjoyable for fans of Delia Owens and Nicholas Sparks with its family secrets and painful choices.

Holbrook said she discovered that the fictional reunion experience and hers happen more frequently than people realize.

“It’s pretty amazing to me how many people in my age group reconnect with someone they knew when they were younger,” Holbrook said.

Yet despite being known for her nonfiction — as well as her poetry and short stories — she wanted to write a fictional love story because of her flexibility. Holbrook said Freedom is satisfying because it can cover a variety of topics without needing to be 100% factual.

“You create a world of your own and characters that come from your imagination and a story that unfolds based on how you imagine it,” Holbrook said.

Writing is a relatively new hobby for Holbrook. She studied French and political theory at Wellesley College in Massachusetts before working in the publishing industry in New York. She mainly focused on art books for museums and the like. Then she got to a point where she wanted to take up the pen herself and be more introspective.

Holbrook’s desire to build a world has helped her stay on track during the coronavirus pandemic as she faced more nebulous deadlines than her usual newspaper columns.

“Once I had that first draft, I couldn’t let go,” Holbrook said “… The more the world got fleshed out, the more it feels like a world you want to be in.”

This first draft came in 2018 after about six months of writing. But it took her until 2019 to find an agent, and then she spent the next few years in a cycle of revisions and rejections. Shortly after his agent felt the work was in a good position to sell to a publisher, Holbrook was diagnosed with a brain tumor in late March 2022.

Holbrook tries to be hopeful but also realistic as it could take two to three years to get a publisher’s release schedule.

“I didn’t want to wait,” Holbrook said. “I wanted to get things done.”

She had a conversation with Karen Wyatt, editor at Studios with veranda to Dillon, to see how it could be accelerated. A publisher in New York assembled an independent production team while Wyatt focused on point-of-sale distribution to move the publication to July.

Holbrook is now recovering from chemotherapy and is ready to celebrate the book launch. A celebration and book signing will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 10 at Next page Books and food 409 Main St., Frisco. Appetizers and drinks will be available.

“Even though it’s not exactly your story, it’s a familiar story of growing up and facing major obstacles and trying to get around the one of making big mistakes and finally finding your way back” , said Holbrook.

Christina Holbrook grew up in New York and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Her book “All the Flowers of the Mountain” is set in the rural state and borrows from her personal life.
Alan Dulit/Courtesy Photo

Irene B. Bowles