Hildreth, Denise 1969–
Hildreth, Denise 1969–
PERSONAL: Born 1969; married Jonathan Pierce (recording artist). Education: Graduated from the University of South Carolina, 1992. Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: Bible study.
ADDRESSES: Home and office—P.O. Box 680488, Franklin, TN 37068.
CAREER: Educator, songwriter, and writer. Recordings include The Best of America: Volume 2, 2003.
Savannah from Savannah, WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2004.
Savannah Comes Undone, WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2005.
Savannah by the Sea, WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2006.
SIDELIGHTS: Denise Hildreth is a Christian songwriter and author who published her first work of fiction in 2004. Her debut novel was titled Savannah from Savannah, and it was called "smart and witty chick lit" by Tamara Butler in the Library Journal. The book introduces Savannah Phillips, a graduate student and aspiring writer. In the story, Savannah's excitement about winning a writing contest is diminished when she realizes that her mother, a former Miss Georgia, fixed the contest so Savannah would win. Savannah returns home to prove her real talent and begins working at the local newspaper. Her first assignment is to investigate the possibility that the Miss Georgia beauty pageant is fixed. Jill Elizabeth Nelson, reviewing the book for Romantic Times Book Club Online, claimed that the author "crams the pages with laugh-out-loud humor." Nelson concluded that Hildreth's first novel is "stellar."
Hildreth followed Savannah from Savannah with its sequel, Savannah Comes Undone. In this story Savannah begins a new career as a human interest columnist at the Savannah Chronicle. Savannah's job is put in jeopardy after her dramatic mother becomes the topic of the latest media craze upon chaining herself to a monument of the Ten Commandments. Savannah tries to distance herself from her mother, win back an ex-boyfriend, and follow the advice of a wise, homeless woman, all at the same time. The novel met with mixed reviews. Nelson, writing again in the Romantic Times Book Club Online, called the book a "witty, wise and demented sequel," while a contributor to Publishers Weekly felt that readers "may be disappointed by the slow pace and lack of significant events." However, Angela Etheridge, in a review posted on the Romance Readers Connection Web site, described Savannah Comes Undone as a "highly interesting, intriguing, and inspiring coming-of-age novel." Etheridge further commented: "The intricate relationship between mother and daughter is celebrated, and Savannah's re-connection with God is powerful."
In a statement posted on her home page, Hildreth commented on her writing: "I know loss and I know success. I know what it feels like to doubt and I know what it is to have faith. I know what it is to think God is surely out of miracles and then He explodes in your life and you realize miracles do still exist." Hildreth went on to state: "This is what I know. It is what I write and I pray it is what I live."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, June 1, 2004, Tamara Butler, review of Savannah from Savannah, p. Ill; September 1, 2005, Tamara Butler, review of Savannah Comes Undone, p. 126.
Publishers Weekly, July 25, 2005, review of Savannah Comes Undone, p. 48.
Denise Hildreth Home Page, http://www.denisehildreth.com (March 22, 2006).
Romance Readers Connection, http://www.theromancereadersconnection.com/ (March 22, 2006), Angela Etheridge, review of Savannah Comes Undone.
Romantic Times Book Club Online, http://www.romantictimes.com/ (March 22, 2006), Jill Elizabeth Nelson, reviews of Savannah from Savannah and Savannah Comes Undone.