S. R. Mallery
The concept of this book developed from a single seed that had germinated many years before. It was a time back when I was visiting my parents, while I was in bed with my daughter, then three, curled up fast asleep next to me. My father had given me a short story my mother had gotten published years before that and as I lay reading in bed, I suddenly stopped and looked down at my peaceful, sleeping child. It was then that the idea crossed my mind and gave me a thrill––there were three generations in our bed that night.
Being an avid American history fan, I started wondering how I could write a story that involved various time frames in the U.S and still have one connective thread. Slowly, I incorporated the dovetailing of my modern day psychology student heroine (Sonia), lost and misguided, with her learning how to cope with her own life just from reading her family’s ancestors’ diaries and journals.
Not a typical love story, the book journeys back and forth between Sonia’s life and the past, as the reader sees her gathering wisdom from her forbearers. And like Sonia, we, too, are privy to American history: first, the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Timothy Leary era; next, the 1950’s and early 60’s, along with Tupperware parties, McCarthyism, and Black Power. Going back even further, we are exposed to the 1930’s Great Depression, when hobos hopped trains, high-steel workers scaled tremendous heights, crazed dance marathons were all the rage, and Eleanor Roosevelt fought for the rights of all mankind.
As Sonia continues discovering more and more about her own life and the people in it, she finds out how hard it was in 1915 for immigrants like her great-great grandfather, even with a good job at the Ford’s Factory, and how, at the same time, the Suffragists’ fight for the vote literally salvaged her great-great aunt. Finally, with the clarity she has gained from these family memoirs, she begins to turn her life around:
Chapter I: Discoveries
“….there was an old steamer trunk at the far end of the room, rusty, somewhat threadbare, and artistically draped with a cobweb or two over its corner edges. Yet opened, it looked cheerful, with…cardboard boxes, all labeled and color-coded….
…when Sam’s [Sonia’s father] box was exposed, Sonia gasped. A corucopia of the Vietnam experience flooded her senses and at the same time, left a slight dread....”
Chapter 2: Sam––Living With Fear
[from Sonia’s father’s letters] “…crack-crack-crack! Everyone froze. “Get the fuck down!” yelled our squad leader, Sgt. Carbini.
We dropped like stones, trying to listen for snipers over our pounding chests…”
“….Nearing the village, we passed women in their beige tunics, black pants, and Sampan hats, shouldering thick bamboo rods weighted down by buckets of water. Most kept their heads lowered…but the few who didn’t stared up at us with dead, black-brown eyes and pressed lips….”
“….Carbini was first. He marched over to a hooch, flipped on his Zippo, and carefully lit the underbelly of its thatched roof. It smoldered for a few seconds, a thin, rising wisp of smoke twisting in the tropical air. From that, a flame grew, nibbling at the straw with a low, blue heat before suddenly bursting into a torch, arcing up towards the sky in a yellow-hot blaze….”
Chapter 12: Daria––Living With Proverbs
[written in Sonia’s great great-grandmother Daria’s bible]
“…they say I was born at an inconvenient time. The year was 1902, and the moment, the wee hours of a rain-soaked morn in County Kerry. A terrible storm it was, with lightning that crackled the sky and hoarse winds that rattled the trees…”
[from Daria’s dance marathon experience] “….the siren came...Bang! went the Big Bertha canon, and we be on the run. Round and round we hustled, like people fleeing the English…May all the goats in Gorey chase you to hell…”
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8boWh1y5MtM
Amazon Author’s page:http://www.amazon.com/author/www.srmallery.com