Susan M. Carr – Author

THE RAT TREE is an illustrated coming of age novella set in 1950s Portland, Oregon. On the grounds of the family’s woolen mill, a big family of grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins gather for their annual summer pool party. As the sun shines on the family, two young cousins explore the attic of the mill where grandfather stores his tools, trunks and secrets. In a locked trunk they find clues to his hidden Nazi past and generations of abuse. They decide to tell the story. Will they find salvation for all?

Read Susan M. Carr’s latest book

The Rat Tree

On a hot summer day, an adventurous little girl explores the attic of an old woolen mill. Locked inside a dusty trunk, she finds a diary that reveals the dark secrets of her grandfather’s past. Will her discovery provide the key to disrupting generations of abuse?

Illustrations by Lauren Iida

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The Ballad of Desiree

It is the 1970s. Desiree is twenty-two years old and seems to have it all – a 1949 Chevy van, a cabin in Eastern Washington’s Huckleberry Mountains, a newborn son, and a wild lover. The Ballad of Desiree is a thrilling road trip through an experimental, erotic decade of free love, but more significantly it is the poignant story of a young woman’s journey. Desiree is an adventurous free spirit. When a bigger world presents itself, she must make a choice. Will she surrender all that she has to pursue her authentic identity?

“I could not put this book down. I was with Desiree on every page.”

– Marcy Dodds –




“To spend time with Desiree is to love her. Like a gentle bonfire stumbled upon at night in the cold woods, her chosen way of being is something one can warm their hands on before continuing on their way. A light of comfort in the chill dark. The rich world that Susan M. Carr creates is one that is a joy to visit. Like Desiree being replenished and inspired by spending time in her beloved eight-sided log cabin in the Huckleberry Mountains, I felt replenished and inspired by spending time in the pages of The Ballad of Desiree.”

– David Mielke –

“What I like most about The Ballad of Desiree is the implicit invitation to share in her learning as she meanders the obstacles and possibilities, whether to assume a character in a play, to occupy a song, to trust herself to assume huge risks – to homestead in eastern Washington in the woodlands near the upper Columbia, to move to the big city, to build a house with her husband and baby – to become more self-realized every step of the way. And the best part, from page one till the end, is the beyond hip presence of her faithful sidekick and guide, her invincible spunk. It’s mighty easy to root for Desiree.”

– Phil Craft –

“The Ballad of Desiree is a beautifully written book. Susan M. Carr takes you on a journey of a young girls thoughts, dreams, and ultimately a decision that would change her life. This book takes you up and down in the emotion department. I could not put this book down. I was with Desiree on every page.”

– Marcy Dodds –