RUMFORD — A Rumford writer will do a book reading and signing of her first novel, “Lonely Specks,” at 7 p.m. Friday, June 20.

Author Shellie Léger will hold the event at Gone Loco cafe at No View Farm at 855 South Rumford Road in South Rumford.

“It is a really well-written book,” cafe owner Annette Roy Marin said Thursday evening via Facebook. “Great story with compelling characters. She can spin a tale that keeps you wanting more. Everyone that has read it is waiting for the second installment!”

Léger, a Rumford native who lives in West Paris, will be joined by another Rumford writer, Cynthia B. Anderson, the author of “River Talk,” Marin said Tuesday.

According to a recent news release from Léger at Paregoric Press in Cambridge, Mass., “Lonely Specks” is up-market literary fiction for adults. It tells the story of Dufy Loche, the beautiful teenage daughter of Bohemian, neglectful parents.

“The novel takes us from the hedonistic ’70s in Topanga Canyon to Portland, Maine, decades later,” the release states.

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“Dufy escapes her fractured family to the East Coast to pursue her dream of becoming a modern dancer. She meets an older man named Bruce whose break with reality leaves her riddled with grief …

“After her marriage to Marcus turns sour 25 years later, Dufy, now a successful nurse-midwife and mother of two, meets Alan Harp, a mentally ill, homeless painter. But when she leaves her family for him, she almost gets herself killed and has to escape.

“Faced with a variety of life-changing decisions, she is forced to grapple with her need to rescue. Years of stuffed anguish and despair, which she’d buried ‘under layers of old hurts’ erupt and she is forced to ponder the trajectory of her life and how to claim what’s left. Facing down her mess feels unfathomable, but she decides she must.”

According to the website of Maine Authors Publishing, which published “Lonely Specks” and released it last month, Burns Woodward, a clinical psychiatrist, described the book as, “A lyrical, fierce and sexy exploration of the nature of love.

“Shellie Léger has an acute psychological understanding of desire, craving and the compulsion to rescue,” Woodward said. “She portrays with verve what it means to sacrifice one’s self for love of someone who is mentally ill.”

According to a June 6 news release, Steven Moore, producer and host of “Off the Shelf” writes of “Lonely Specks:” “Léger is the sort of fiction writer who cranks up the truth, entertains, digs deep into the psyche and does so in crystalline and evocative prose.

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“Her brilliance lies in her characters that come alive on the page and drives the reader through her work with relentless momentum,” Moore said. “‘Lonely Specks’ makes a sincere and honest foray into the nature of desperation, and leaves us probing our own.”

The May 5 release states that Léger has lived mostly in New York City and Cambridge, Mass., “having fled her hometown of Rumford as any writer must at the age of 17.”

She recently returned to Maine “to her hopefully permanent home in West Paris where she lives with her husband, Steven, a stepdaughter, two dogs, one cat and a pot-bellied pig, and is a practicing psychotherapist.

Léger is also the mother of three young adult children who have struck off on their own, the release states.

She is a published writer of short-stories.

“Lonely Specks” is the first book of her character-driven trilogy, Fairy Shrimp Trilogy, which includes “The Treadwell Place” and “Back Kingdom,” taking place in Rumford and Andover, respectively.

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The trilogy is named after the tiny translucent vertebrates that dwell in the vernal pools of Western Maine.

Cynthia Anderson’s “River Talk” was released in April from C&R Press. It was described in a Kirkus starred-review as “a triumphant, probing debut that promises both literary and mass appeal.”

According to the June 6 release, author Paul Doiron writes of “River Talk” : “That rare work that sneaks up on you, acquiring power and depth from story to story until, by the end, you realize that a master storyteller has been leading you to a surprising and yet altogether inevitable destination.”

“Lonely Specks” is available on Amazon, and the publisher, Maine Authors Publishing ( www.MaineAuthorsPublishing.com), or local bookstores.

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