Lee Smith: Silver Alert

Thursday, August 24, 2023 - 7:00pm to 7:45pm


Join us for a virtual talk with author Lee Smith about her new book Silver Alert on Thursday August 24th at 7:00pm on Zoom. 

Our bookseller Elizabeth says: "Silver Alert is a road trip novel full of humor, secrets and hope set in Key West. It has a list of characters that will intrigue and amuse the reader from the first to the last page."


"Smith's latest is as delicious as a slice of key lime pie – and gone just as fast." ―People

"It's very different and it's very special and it's very good! I loved it." —​Dolly Parton

A driving force in literature, Lee Smith returns with a road trip novel, a story full of hope and humor about not going away quietly—at any age.
Herb’s charmed life with his dear wife Susan in their Key West house is coming undone. Susan, in her 70s, now needs constant care, and Herb is in denial about his own ailing health. The one bright spot is the arrival of an endlessly optimistic manicurist calling herself Renee. She sings to Susan during manicures, gets her to paint, and brings her a much-needed sense of contentment.

Then Herb and Susan’s adult children arrive to stage an intervention with their stubborn, independent father, and as a consequence, Renee’s gig with Susan—and her grand plans for her own life—start to unravel as well. Herb isn’t ready to let go of all that he has ever had, and it turns out that Renee is not the happy, uncomplicated girl she pretends to be. She is not even Renee; she is really Dee Dee, and she, too, has reasons of her own to hit the road. So Herb suggests one last joy ride in his Porsche with her riding shotgun; and they light out for parts north, setting off a Silver Alert.

As the unlikely friendship between Herb and Dee Dee deepens, we see how as one life is closing down, another opens up. This time that Dee Dee has spent with Susan, this time in Key West, and this time in the Porsche with the elderly Herb reveals to Dee Dee how much more truly lies ahead.

In this buoyant novel, the masterful Smith asks: What life do we deserve? And how do we make it our own? Sometimes, you just have to seize the wheel.


Lee Smith began writing stories at the age of nine and selling them for a nickel apiece. Since then, she has written seventeen works of fiction, including Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, Guests on Earth, and most recently, Dimestore. She has received many awards, including the North Carolina Award for Literature and an Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; her novel The Last Girls was a New York Times bestseller as well as winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award.

Event address: 
on Zoom
Silver Alert By Lee Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643752419
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - April 18th, 2023