Billie Carver

Fiction - Literary
328 Pages
Reviewed on 05/25/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Zelmer Wilson (born 1 July 1975 in Fort Collins, Colorado) is an American author.

He discovered that he wanted to be a writer when he was fifteen years old during the summer of 1990 while in Birmingham, Alabama, visiting his mother and two sisters.

He spent the next few years trying to write a novel. At first, because he was reading science-fiction at the time, he tried to write a science-fiction novel.

It was when he was twenty-one years old that he read Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer for the first time. He then realized that he could use his own life as the basis or inspiration for a story.

He finished the first draft of his first novel several years later, in August of 2001. He then spent the next year re-writing it. He tried to get it published, but failed. He has since lost it.

He didn't gave up, though and spent the next few years writing other novels while working a full time forty hour a week job. His debut novel, In the Middle, is inspired by his own difficult teenage years in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite

In an interesting and unique new story by author Zelmer Wilson, Billie Carver: The Summer Her Life Changed is a book that will keep readers obsessively turning the pages from the very first words all the way through to the very last page. Follow the story of title character Billie Carver, a young woman who thinks she’s got a great plan for her life. She’s just graduated from Tulane University with honors, a goal she’s had for herself since she was a young girl, and she’s ready to start on her career and make of her life what she’s always dreamed it could be. But when she finds out that things from her past are not what she thought, her whole outlook changes, and she realizes that she has to rethink all she thought she knew, and all that she’s ever wanted for herself.

I very much enjoyed Billie Carver. Author Zelmer Wilson has done a great job in creating characters that readers will relate to, connect with, and truly come to care about, thinking of them long after the story is done. If that isn’t a hallmark of a great author, I’m not sure what is. The characterizations are true and the story line is realistic, and many readers will be able to relate to the idea of a complete change in their circumstances and life plans. Any reader who enjoys a great work of fiction, and especially a story about a person who is coming to know their real selves, should absolutely read this book. I recommend this book, and look forward to reading more from author Zelmer Wilson as soon as I can.

Chris Fischer

Billie Carver: The Summer Her Life Changed by Zelmer Wilson is a book that many readers will find irresistible. The eponymous character, Billie Carver, is a person who feels she is on the precipice of great things. She has done what she’s always hoped, graduated from Tulane University with honors, and she’s about to set forth on her future, ready to embark upon an exciting and rewarding career. It seems as if the world is her oyster, and she just needs to venture forth. But when she gains information about her past that changes everything she’s ever known, she realizes that she’ll need to rethink much, including what she thinks about herself. Will Billie be able to move forward after she’s processed this news? You’ll need to read this intriguing book to find out.

This book is very well written and readable. Many readers will be able to relate to Billie and her plight, and will be able to connect her life story with their own. Readers who enjoy coming of age stories, stories with a highly personal and emotional story line, or just a creative read of fiction in general would appreciate this book. Author Zelmer Wilson should be commended on the ability to create realistic and sympathetic characters, especially that of the protagonist, Billie, as well as the ability to write a well balanced and interesting story line. I certainly hope that this promising author will continue in this genre. I, for one, will be looking for more from the author, and hopefully in the very near future!

Gisela Dixon

Billie Carver by Zelmer Wilson is a love story as well as a coming of age story primarily of Billie Carver. Billie Carver and her best friend from school, Bobbie Lamont, live in Louisiana and have known each other from a very young age. Both are tomboyish and are going through the usual teenage phases. However, as they grow into their teens, and start talking about boys and dating, they both realize that there may be feelings under the surface that they themselves cannot identify. Their respective life journeys continue and take them farther away when Bobbie leaves and decides to go to New York. Meanwhile, Billie starts dating Michelle, in spite of an age gap between the two, and realizes that she has fallen in love. The story then continues mainly from the perspective of Billie and her experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Ultimately, this book teaches you that love has no barrier, whether of age, sexual orientation, gender, or race.

Billie Carver by Zelmer Wilson is a wonderfully written story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The concept of homosexuality and lesbian love is beautifully handled and is a reminder that people still face discrimination based on sex, race, and gender in today’s world. Billie’s character is very nuanced and we, as readers, are in tune with her feelings and thoughts as she matures and comes into her own. This is a novel about life and love that also spreads a strong, positive message about the LGBT movement and rights. All in all, I would highly recommend this book.

Maria Beltran

Billie and Bobbie have been best friends since 1974 when they were both six years old and first graders in the exclusive Saint Augustine Academy. And in Zelmer Wilson’s novel, Billie Carver, the story unravels in the summer of 1990 when the girls graduate from Tulane University. Billie is an intelligent young woman and she plans to go to California after a stint as a journalist in a local magazine in New Orleans. Bobbie, on the other hand, decides to go to New York to start her own life away from her parents' shadow. As the girls try to come to grips with their separation, Billie finds out the truth about a father that she never met. She also struggles with her own sexuality and her relationship with Bobbie takes an unexpected turn.

If you love novels characterized by plot twists or startling revelations of character, you should read Zelmer Wilson’s novel, Billie Carver. After graduating from university, Billie is forced to confront the fact that her relationship with her best friend Bobbie Lamont is entering a new phase. Wilson’s direct writing style effectively brings out the emotional tone of two extremely close friends caught up in the usual flow of this thing called life. This directness of style somehow enhances the threat of separation and the cost of being different in the '90s that Billie has to deal with as she navigates her own personal journey. And, as we follow their story, it is difficult not to empathize with Billie and Bobbie because many of us may have been there before.