18. January 2018 · Comments Off on BLOG, Jan. 18, 2018 · Categories: Blog

I’ve been working on a new book that I hope will intrigue some of you. It’s actually an update of a story I wanted to tell about my mother, who came to Detroit from her home on a farm in Lincoln Park, Michigan, in 1935. She was very shy and inexperienced, and I started out just to show what happens to a young woman in the big city during the Great Depression.

The story morphed from that into a romance, and then into a combination romance-thriller, and that’s the story I’m working on now. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter. I’m hoping to get it published by a traditional publishing company, but that may not happen and I may have to go the self-published route.

SNATCHED

I never could have guessed what was in store for me, both terrifying and wonderful, when I arrived at my cousin’s house in Detroit in the middle of what they weren’t yet calling The Great Depression.

I recalled what had happened when my cousin Carol came to the farm to ask for my help. She wore a colorful cast on her broken arm, as if to proclaim her injury.

“Aunt Pearl,” she said to Mama as the kitchen doors swung shut behind her, “I’m here to ask your permission to move Kat in with me and Jack, at least for the summer. You know, we love that big house Jack inherited, but it needs a lot of work. With my broken arm, I just haven’t been able to do much, and Kat would be such a help. We have a nice bedroom just for her, with its own bathroom, and the neighborhood is very quiet. She could help me with the gardening, babysitting for Edgar and Marcy, and she’d be a great help to Jack while he remodels the house. You know how good Kat is with plumbing, and she could even learn to crochet.”

“Crochet?” Mama’s voice seemed to shake a little; she was never very articulate. “But Carol, she’s so young.”

Carol said soothingly, “I know, Aunt Pearl. Kat’s only seventeen, and she’s never been anywhere but downtown Vassar. But she wants to travel, and she loves to learn. This would really be good for her.”

Mama said, “You want to take my baby to Detroit? But it’s terrifying in the city! With the depression and all? It’s only been six years since Black Tuesday, and I’ve heard on the radio that there are starving and desperate homeless people in the cities. I’m sure her father would agree that Kat should stay here on the farm, where we grow enough food to feed ourselves, and we can keep her safe. I’m sure she thinks so, too.”

Carol’s voice was strong and assured; I could visualize her nodding and smiling. She’d always been able to get around Mama. “Yes, Aunt Pearl, she’d be safe here, and healthy. But I don’t think she wants to stay on the farm. And you and Uncle Dan don’t really need her here, with Esther, Stella, and the boys. It would be an adventure for her to come to Detroit. Every girl needs some adventure in her life, doesn’t she?”

“Well, but . . . my baby isn’t strong, you know. She’s fragile, and I’m afraid she’d be too frightened, even with you and Jack to protect her.”

My older sister Mary-Ann, visiting Mama with her husband Vic, arrived at the back door just then and, knowing why Carol was here, joined her voice to Carol’s. Mama just couldn’t resist the two of them.

Listening behind the swinging kitchen door, I couldn’t tell if Mama was being swayed by Carol’s arguments, and it was almost time for Dad to come in for lunch.  I nibbled on my fingertips and held my breath – it wasn’t going at all well. Mama didn’t want to risk her baby. But I really, really wanted the risk; how else would I get over my fears, learn how the world worked?  It was good to know that Mama felt so protective of me, but I knew that I must get away from all that security. Sometimes I really felt smothered. Carol wouldn’t hover, like Mama and my sisters did.

 

I hope you like it, and I’m working to get it done in the next few months.

 

About the author: Harriet Darling

A 75-year-old retired Executive Assistant and Research Editor, I live in Lodi, California, and transport foster kids to family visits and court appearances. I have a son, who is married to Cathy, and they live in Sacramento with Sheldon, their cat, and Penny, their dog. No children, so no grandchildren for me.

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