TESSA & CLAUDINE
It is 1955 when sixteen-year-old Tessa Steinbrucker suddenly finds her life turned upside down after her unpredictable, alcoholic mother, Eva Mae, decides to leave their stepfather. Tessa and her older sister, Claudine, sit together on a bus bound for Indianapolis. Upon arrival Tessa realizes she is nothing but a tiny dot in a big city. As Tessa and Claudine attempt to acclimate to the frenzied Indianapolis pace, their grandfather helps their mother secure an apartment and a job. Introverted Tessa desperately desires a closer relationship with gregarious Claudine. Unfortunately, the only thing they seem to have in common is their concern for their mother, who often pits her daughters against one another. Over the years Eva Mae remarries more than once and continues on a rocky path. But when their mother goes missing, the sisters must decide whether to accept the sordid details of her disappearance. Now only time will tell if their relationship is strong enough to survive this latest tragedy. Tessa and Claudine is the poignant tale of two sisters and their tumultuous relationship with their troubled mother as they battle their differences and attempt to find acceptance within themselves-and with each other.
ROW AWAY FROM THE ROCKS
Orphaned mysteriously and raised by her domineering grandmother in Wisconsin, newly married Carrie Barnes is enjoying a new life in sunny Atlanta when she receives word that Gram is dying of cancer. She puts her life on hold and returns home to care for Gram. All of her reserves of love and compassion are tested as she tries to make her grandmother's last days as peaceful as possible while coping with pressures on her job and her marriage. A troubled relationship with a cousin adds to her difficulties. This much of Lisbeth Thom's novel may seem familiar to many women who have struggled with the terminal illness of aging parents or grandparents, but Carrie's story has a twist. While putting Gram's affairs in order, she discovers new information about the death of her parents. The resolution of this mystery allows her to forgive and changes things with cousin Jennifer, which ultimately brings her a sense of peace.
While visiting my daughter last spring , I had the opportunity to read short stories and poems written by my granddaughter, Rachel Nelson. As I read, I felt a strong connection. It was obvious that Rachel was a talented writer and loved words as much as I did. I suggested that we do a book of poetry together -- each writing poems that would inspire the other to write a poem on the same subject. Rachel readily agreed. We spent the summer bouncing poems back and forth between Minnesota and Georgia, and Echoes, our book of poetry became a reality. We have had lots of fun sharing parts of our lives.