Local Author Spotlight: Deborah Elster’s new novel “Only From Heaven” explores love, loss and redemption

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

Far too many people know what it’s like to become estranged from a family member.

Author Deborah Elster.

It’s a subject local author Deborah Elster plumbs in her debut novel, “Only From Heaven.” Since its release, the book has earned praise from local residents and writers for its sensitivity and ultimately life-affirming exploration of love, loss, peace and redemption.

“If you like ‘The Shack,’ you will love ‘Only From Heaven,’” said Mary Haley, award-winning Sandpoint author of “The Great Potato Murder.” “Deborah A. Elster skillfully tells the story of a hard life that finds redemption in surprising places. This book is a great tonic for our present age.”

The book follows Reggie Thomas, a woman who finds herself on a journey of re-discovering her sister, Lizzie, after her untimely death. While working with her niece, Jennifer, and Lizzie’s ex, Frank, to settle the estate, the trio shares their memories of the enigmatic woman hoping to understand her strange behavior. Why did she push her family away? And what is the significance of the Monarch butterfly and lady in white, two images that appear and reappear in Reggie’s quest for understanding?

“Only From Heaven.” Courtesy photo.

“Only From Heaven” is the culmination of an exciting project for Elster, who has lived in Clark Fork for four years and worked as a physical therapist for 44 years. She has nurtured a lifelong love of writing that she previously poured into numerous non-fiction articles. “Only From Heaven” fulfills a long-held ambition to explore the world of fiction.

Readers have a chance to meet the author for themselves at a book reading, discussion and signing to take place at Kokanee Coffee, 509 N Fifth Ave, Sandpoint, on Saturday, April 21 at 9:30 a.m.

“Only From Heaven” can also be purchased in Sandpoint book and gift stores, as well as on Amazon in book or e-book format. A signed copy can be purchased by emailing her at [email protected].

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