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Michele Struble

Skaneateles resident and author Michele Struble.

When she was writing her debut novel, Michele Struble planned for its title to describe the journey of its main character.

Released this month, the book follows Leah, a young girl living in 1980s suburbia as she makes her way through her teens and 20s — and all the joys and tears that come with them.

Originally, Struble planned to call the book something to the effect of “Late Bloomer.” As she wrote, however, she began to question who gets to decide what’s late and what isn't. So instead she decided on a name that reflects the fact that Leah, like everyone, finds themselves in their own time.

The final title: “Every Flower Blooms.”

Struble, of Skaneateles, had always wanted to write a novel, and the idea for the book had been kicking around in her head in some form or another for years. But working in the busy, congested world of corporate Long Island never left her with any time to put her dreams to paper, she said.

Three years ago, Struble and her husband went to the town of Niagara to view a home for sale. But through a comedy of errors and happenstance, they ended up — unplanned — in Skaneateles, at the very home they now live in.

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They immediately fell in love with the area, Struble said. The views, the space and, most of all, the people were exactly the change of pace she needed to be able to finally write, she continued.

“The people are very welcoming, very kind and generous,” Struble said. “Everybody here has a smile and a hello.”

Although not directly about her own life, “Every Flower Blooms” is based on Struble's experience growing up in the ‘80s, she said. In particular, she said the book helps readers remember — or learn about for the first time — what growing up without social media was like.

Growing up is tough enough without the added pressure of having to essentially be visible online all the time, Struble said. And the book describes what it’s like for Leah to grow up free from all that.

Throughout 10 years of her life, readers get to follow Leah and become acquainted with the people in her life and her own identity as she tries to shape it and find it herself.

Despite being about a young girl, Struble said, the book's audience is not limited to the same group. Through the other characters in Leah’s life, there’s someone for every reader to relate to and understand.

“It’ll touch any human being with a heart, soul and a brain who likes to read,” Struble said.

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Staff writer Ryan Franklin can be reached at (315) 282-2252 or ryan.franklin@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @RyanNYFranklin.

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