Ellen Gibson-Adler was born in Tokyo during the American military occupation of Japan following WWII. She grew up in the nomadic travels of a military family, which took her from Japan to Alaska, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana and Massachusetts. She graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts at Boston with majors in anthropology and sociology. During her long career in public service in Massachusetts and Maryland, she served with non-profit organizations and government institutions focused on environmental, social action, educational and criminal justice missions.
The Road to Home is her third and final novel in the trilogy beginning with The Ride to Jubilee and The Voyage that chronicles the saga of the Lyons family. It concludes with a powerful and haunting portrayal of how history, war and vulnerability weave a compelling family tapestry. She resides in Maryland with her husband.
Read our review of her latest, The Road to Home, here and learn more about the Lyon family saga in our Author Spotlight here.
The Road to Home (2019)
The Voyage (2016)
The Ride to Jubilee (2013)
Your biggest literary influencers:
Anne Tyler, Jeanette Walls, Elizabeth Gilbert, Martha Beck, Tara Westover, Dan Brown
Last book read:
Stony the Road by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
The book that changed your life:
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This extraordinary book about children being raised by two mentally ill and alcoholic parents striped me to the bone. Her prose was gripping in its simple style that held such power. Her portrayal of the love that family bonds hold on vulnerable children and flawed parents exposes the simple truth of hope for things getting better, the abiding optimism inherent in not giving up and the need – sometimes –to just let go. She made me laugh, she made me cry, and she made me realize that I can do the same thing, too.
Your favorite literary character:
Jo Marsh in Little Women revealed to me as a young female reader that being different, being a tomboy, pushing against the norms, and railing over the injustices and unfairness of life could actually build strength and fuel determination to succeed. Her commitment to writing stories, silly and frivolous in the beginning, never wavered despite rejection and humiliation from those she admired. She took the pain of loss and turned it into the poetry of fiction with themes of family love and devotion that still move people today.
Currently working on:
My young adult mystery series The Mystery of Moon Town Bay.
Words to live by:
Never give up on your dreams and don’t be afraid to re-write your own story.
Advice for aspiring authors:
Treat it like a job. Don’t sit around waiting for “inspiration.” Make time and stick to it. Put some words down every day and watch them grow.
For The Ride to Jubilee:
“This authentic story grabs you and doesn’t let you go. It is about a young woman of strength and dignity who led by her powerful instincts and ambition manages to conquer life obstacles and find peace within. This inspiration and relatable story will be the one you will instantly share with your dearest friends and family. My husband sent me his greetings from Geneva, ‘I started reading Adler’s book when boarding the plane and soon became best friends with Nelle. I did not stop reading until I finished the book at 10 p.m.’ I look forward to whatever else Ms. Gibson-Adler has to offer us. She is a wonderful storyteller.”
For The Voyage:
“Wow what a story! I just finished it and couldn’t put it down. Ellen Gibson-Adler develops great characters. This historical fiction is brilliantly woven into the period of WWII giving the reader a wonderful sense of time in US history.”