September’s Balloon


SKU e-book Category

175 in stock


By Kathy Flanary Nelson

ISBN: 978-1-84747-761-3
Published: 2008
Pages: 92
Key Themes: fiction, depression, anxiety, family, relationships



September’s Balloon is a novel written in first person and told through the eyes of Susan Nolan, the thirty-five year old narrator. Susan is afflicted with anxiety and panic, and struggles with her recently closed company, loss of financial independence and a stale and isolating marriage.

A childhood loss taunts her additionally, and with no emotional support from her husband or from her wealthy and disconnected family, she spirals into depression. She is the mother of her six-year-old daughter named September, who sends a message to God, by balloon, driven by her innate and child-like faith.

September’s parents, Susan and Matt Nolan are at first amused and delighted with their daughter’s idea of sending her rainbow drawing to God as a thank you for the rainbows he’s given to her, until their small town, several weeks later, witness a rainbow of phenomenal proportions and contemplate they’ve witnessed a miracle.

As the story progresses, so do the balloons as one becomes larger when Susan, having an unbearable fear of heights, schedules a hot air balloon ride for her daughter’s birthday.

This is a fiction novel, however, Susan’s emotional disease is a constant current throughout the story and the symptoms and experiences deriving from her illness told accurately and honestly from her viewpoint.

The story’s interesting momentum throughout will grasp the reader’s attention. Sadness, humor, conflict, and unexplainable occurrences from September’s wonderment and faithful belief for answers spawns hope and encourage change for her parent’s Susan and Matt.

About the Author

Kathy Flanary Nelson was born at Camp Lejeune, NC and later relocated with her young military family to attend first grade in Alexandria, Virginia. Shortly after, they moved back to North Carolina where she has lived most of her life.

She found she loved creative writing the day her boss asked her to write an employment recommendation for an employee she hardly knew. She completed the project that night and turned it into her boss the next day who astonishingly praised her writing skills. It also landed a company employee a promotion, but no raises for herself as she recalls.

Kathy achieved plenty and enjoyed diversity and challenge in the workplace before she found her entrepreneurial spirit, then started a competitive business. She contemplated obstacles along the way but never thought she’d become expecting with her first born only eight months into her new endeavor.

With a newborn business and a newborn child, she found herself pulled between the two but managed to continue her business, though downscaled from her original goal, to allow working from home and to care for her daughter during the early years.

Kathy will tell you that it is a mother’s personal choice to leave an outside career for stay-at-home motherhood and that you can’t fight what you’re heart is telling you. She will also tell you that life-changing and stressful situations in life will also uncover new strengths and talents.

It was through that time, when she altered her lifestyle dramatically, that she wrote her first poem, “This is Life”, reflecting the feelings of a new mother. She followed “This is Life”, with a collection of over eighty poems with seventy-five of them published. Added to her work since then are five children’s picture books, one of which became published in 2008, entitled, “You Make Me Want to Sing”, (Music Stories), two novels, one for young adults and one for women’s literature, entitled, “September’s Balloon”, which is coming soon and like the majority of Ms. Nelson’s work was inspired by her daughter. She is currently working on her third novel and doesn’t intend to stop the venue of writing that gave her refuge and one she’s grown to love.

Book Extract

Sunday came again, and another week had passed into the second week of July. I had applied for work for two months with no success. It’s difficult to seek employment with a six-year-old at your side. I’d have to leave these chestnut walls behind and find a fresh house with new air where the sun shines on each corner and with sky lights in every room. I loved light and but the dark walls cast too many shadows. I loved the day and the night but these days had become oblivious, running one into the other and I seldom found a reason to know the day of the week. This place had become a cave and I’d have to make enough money to get us out of here and to support us both.

Again and lying in bed for hours after daybreak I wanted to go back to sleep and give the day to subconscious and strange dreams, but I knew what I had to do and I would have to be at his office by eleven.

Showering seemed a task, but I didn’t want to appear derelict as I begged. My hopes for a photography studio had dwindled along with my sparse clientele just as the money had dwindled since my employment agency closed eight months ago.

I needed money to get through July. I would have to get a brotherly loan and turn my camera equipment over for collateral. I would have it no other way and neither would he. So, today, I would endure every prod my dear brother could deliver from his snide and boyish little head.

I found him to be intellectually numb, while others thought him charming and obvious to all having an insatiable feel for money. This was his way, his acceptable way, Alex McKay, of Graceville, Va.

I made sure my lens’ were tucked securely in their pockets and then picked up the camera. I wrapped it in a soft cloth napkin like a swaddling blanket then tucked it inside the case. I could not believe I had come to the point of selling off my things. I’d worked hard for this camera. My wedding rings were the next to go. I considered pawning as undignified as a hillbilly in a door-less out house without a roll. Matt wouldn’t mind where I got money as long as I had some money to flow.

Alex would find more value in the camera. He knew photography had meaning for me. I’m sure my ambitions to pick myself up and start anew after a failed business had rumored through family channels. There were no confidentialities within our family and I suspected he knew it meant more to me than wedding rings. That would ensure his payment and the return of my camera. A loan to his fallen sister would guarantee ecstasy for his consuming ego under the guise of a good deed before our parents. He is the modern day Pharisee wearing cacky pants and a polo shirt. And they found his antics playful but truth be known to Alex, also annoying. I simply recognized a rascal, malicious and cunning.

3 reviews for September’s Balloon

  1. Tina Avon (verified owner)

    This is the type of book that I love to read.

    September’s Balloon is the story of a mother who has lost her way – who is slowly dying through mental illness, who cannot seem to find the help that she needs. It is also the story of a sweet, 6 year old who seems to be the only one who sees her mother’s descent and will do anything to stop it.

    Although this is a novel, the story told and lived by the main character Susan feels all too real. Here is a smart woman – she owned her own business, she is a mother and a wife and yet – she feels totally useless – with no direction and no future. All she wants to do is sleep and make it all go away. The man she married is a complete stranger to her – her only bright spot is her daughter September (wonderful name) yet Susan feels as though she is somehow betraying her daughter as well.

    It is obvious that Susan is deep into a mental illness and I get sooooo frustrated when I read this! Where is her husband????? How can one live with someone, have a child with that person and yet be clueless? or perhaps more to the point in deep denial? However, September is not in denial about her mother and decides to send a balloon up to God asking for his help.

    When I read this, I started to cry – how loving and beautiful that a child, with only a minimal understanding of the situation, would think to do this!!!! The story unfolds from there – bringing along the most beautiful rainbow and describing many more beautiful miracles.

    This story is full of hidden messages and absolutely touching imagery. No word or sentence is to be taken at face value – there is always a deeper, more touching meaning.

    I loved, loved this book. It made me cry and this happens rarely to me. It is a little short thugh and I could have continued reading – but what a great inspirational story.

  2. Kathy Nelson (verified owner)

    A Book Review on September’s Balloon by Kathy Flanary Nelson
    By Kelley Lang

    September’s Balloon is a heartfelt story about a woman who is deeply depressed. You feel like you are right there with the main character throughout the book. It is a dark and sleepy life she lives. Day after day Susan tries to hide in her dreams. She listens to her husband and daughter through the walls of her darkened bedroom. Her husband has bonded very well with their precious daughter. You can feel her pain of only being able to listen to her dear child while she faces her demons in her room.

    Susan hits rock bottom and has to face her successful brother to sell her passion in life to him which is her camera. Her brother, Alex, makes her feel incompetent. Susan holds her head high and takes the money from Alex for her camera.

    Susan argues with her husband. Her anger forces her to come out of her fog. Susan starts to get up and get dressed each day. She makes dinner like a wife and mother will for her family. She does all of this to get rid of her husband who she has come to hate yet deep down love when she thinks of the past.

    September, the child, is a very thoughtful and caring little girl. The amazing balloon notes she writes will tear at your heart strings as will the “person” she sends them to.

    Towards the end of the book you will find out why Susan was so dreadfully depressed and understand why she behaves the way she does. When you learn this you will understand her pain.

    You will walk each step with Susan to a life for the better. You hope for her. You want to cheer her on. You have faith she will succeed to live. You want Susan, her husband and their daughter to become happier people.

    This book is a quick read as you will want to see what happens in the next chapter. I highly recommend this book especially if you know someone dealing with depression. You will learn somewhat what a depressed person feels like and the obstacles the person has to overcome.

    Kelley Lang is a marketing consultant for Kathy Flanary Nelson. For more information on the book reviewed above visit

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  3. Elizabeth Pou (verified owner)

    September’s Balloon is a story about having hope and being thankful for our precious children. Susan is a mother and wife that’s at a moment in life that everything is going wrong. Susan is dealing with depression, anxiety, and even thought about committing suicide. Also, she is a photographer and even had her own photography business. But, she ended up losing her business. In addition, she doesn’t really have a lot of support from her family.

    At this point, Susan has given up on life and her relationship with her husband. The only thing that keeps her holding on is her little girl September. One day, September decides to thank God by sending him a picture on a purple balloon. From this point Susan life begins to change and she find that happiness for life again. This is a story about having faith and determination.

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