Maggie Walsh has entered the convent. Her brother thinks she’s wasting her life. Her sister doubts she has what it takes. Her mother is heartbroken; her father is happy. Her boyfriend pledges to wait until she “gets it out of her system.”
Abandoning her dreams to be an actress or a writer, Maggie embraces Church teaching that says the convent is the path to perfection. She sets out to prove – to herself and her family – that she can do it. She’ll follow her higher calling, no matter what.
It is 1960. Church reform is a few years away, but when it comes, radical changes unfold swiftly. Maggie embraces that change. Her brother, Jack, who tries at every turn to get Maggie to come to her senses, involves her in civil-rights and anti-war activities – forcing her into conflict with her superiors. Should she keep the peace in the convent or follow her conscience?
A charismatic fellow teacher, Will, captures Maggie’s time and attention. Then her first love, Stan, returns home from a Navy tour. Seeking perfection seemed so simple; now, it is anything but. Maggie must choose: A solitary life with God or the exclusive love of another person?
Author: Kathleen Wade
Class of 67: College, Love and Social Change in the Shadow of Vietnam
The Class of 67 is a historic novel; an episodic, coming-of-age story set on the Ohio State campus in the sixties. The protagonist, Jerry Roush, and his classmates live through turbulent social upheaval-the free speech movement; the struggle for civil rights, open housing, and access to "the pill" the space race, and the threat of nuclear war. Jerry and his friends struggle to incorporate the changes, while dealing with their own identities, relationships, commitments, and expectations - all played out on a college campus. The reader will discover - or relive - what it was like to be in the epicenter of a storm of generation-splitting conflicts - including the threat of the military draft and the freedom of "sex, drugs and rock 'n roll".
Author: Forrest Brandt
Babies' Breath: Stories of the Sad, the Sick, the Evil
Babies' Breath Stories of The Sad, The Sick, The Evil and How They Were Born is a collection of twenty-four contemporary short stories. For readers who have wondered, "How does a story come to be written," the author, Kathy L. Coogan begins each story with the trigger that inspired it. Her fictional characters fight circumstance, bad choices, and luck-of-the-draw. All are in the midst of sad, sick or evil events, which impact their lives: loss, addiction, abandonment, dishonesty, dread and loneliness. They attempt to answer the universal questions - What if? and If Only...? For some, there is relief from the dark. As in real life, others continue to spin out of control.
Author: Kathy L. Coogan
When the body of an elderly man is found naked, frozen to death on the grounds of an abandoned petting zoo near where private investigator Leslie Stone lives with her family, the discovery triggers what Leslie calls the "haunted amusement park" of her mind. Voices and apparitions she knows to be hallucinatory disrupt her waking world. And she is unable to forget that the old man has left behind what seems like a riddle to be solved: an odd drawing and a children's poem with a shifting meaning, titled "The Wilderness."
Compelled to find out what happened, Leslie finds her search interlacing with that of investigative journalist Sophia Mallory, who is tracing her personal path through the historical tragedy of slavery and its aftermath. Together they uncover a pattern of institutionalized violence so brutal, so inexplicable, that it resembles a curse. As "The Wilderness" leads each woman deeper into the past, it also leads them deeper into their own psyches, forcing them to question their motives for solving a mystery which threatens to destroy the lives of everyone they love.
Author: Karen Novak
Five Mile House
In 1889, Eleanor Bly flung herself from the tower of Five Mile House after murdering her seven children. More than a hundred years later, her ghost reaches out to Leslie Stone, a New York cop who has killed a child murderer and is haunted by her actions. New to the town of Wellington-famous for its coven of witches-Leslie becomes obsessed with Eleanor's story, suspecting that the truth may be quite different from local legend. As she digs deeper, uncovering dangerous town secrets, her life and the lives of her children are put into peril. Is Leslie destined to suffer the same madness as Eleanor Bly?
Author: Karen Novak
When private investigator Leslie Stone's own thirteen-year-old daughter, Molly, attempts to hire her to find a vanished friend, the case stirs memories of one from Leslie's own troubled childhood: a series of abductions of girls who became known as the Nightingales. Five eighth-grade boys are being charged with assaulting Molly's friend. But even as their small town erupts in anger and calls for justice, Molly insists that the boys are innocent, and takes the stand to testify on their behalf.
Leslie's investigations show that although Molly may be right, someone is guilty. As the case draws her own secret knowledge of the Nightingales' history toward the light, she is left uncertain of every instinct except the one that demands she protect her child— even if she has to betray her own childhood by telling everything.
Author: Karen Novak
Nestled in a hidden valley, Lágrimas is the last stop for a host of eccentric and questionable souls. When Joyce arrives looking for her son on a tip from a hitchhiker who claims to have seen him there, she settles in a bit too quickly for the locals' comfort. Much to her crushing disappointment, the boy she's been led to is not her son, but an emotionally battered teenager who communicates solely through lines from The Tempest. The locals, suspicious of Joyce's intent, believe that she has brought with her the forces of the Owl, a devastating storm that threatens to demolish Lágrimas once every decade.
Like a storm, the histories of Joyce and all of Lágrimas' inhabitants come raining down over the course of this riveting novel. Emotionally wrought and ultimately redeeming, Ordinary Monsters is a remarkable story about the sorrow of loss and the gift of healing.
Author: Karen Novak