A Heart Dividedby Sarah Crandell Thomas
Set in 1891, A Heart Divided is based on 47 original letters written by a beautiful young woman while traveling on a three month excursion. This woman, my great-grandmother Mary, boarded a train in Washington, DC, enroute to California with her Aunt Emily, leaving behind her husband and young daughter. In Hays, Kansas, the two women are joined by Mary's beloved
Set in 1891, A Heart Divided is based on 47 original letters written by a beautiful young woman while traveling on a three month excursion. This woman, my great-grandmother Mary, boarded a train in Washington, DC, enroute to California with her Aunt Emily, leaving behind her husband and young daughter. In Hays, Kansas, the two women are joined by Mary's beloved cousin Fred who will travel with them for the next ten weeks. A Heart Divided reveals one woman's sense of adventure, deeply entangled emotions, and her struggle to make the right choices. It is a story of American history, of spiritual battles as old as the Garden of Eden, and a reflection of a very different time in the traditional roles of women. Mary challenged those traditions, followed the lure of travel, and pushed the limits until she was able to reconcile all the pieces of a heart divided.
- Publish America
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)
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I became interested in Sarah¿s book when I discovered she and I had both written about our great-grandmothers, historical novels based on facts, family stories, and our imaginations. Sarah has achieved this strategy with utmost skill. She used a treasure of forty-seven original letters written by her great-grandmother, Mary, while on a three month trip with her Aunt Emily, later joined by her beloved cousin Fred. Evidently there were some harsh feelings between Mary and her husband George, and the trip with her aunt to California in 1891 provided a way for her to look at her marriage. The trip included train travel. For me this was fascinating as I had taken the train from Chicago to California as a child, and I remembered some of Mary¿s details of the journey. Actually, throughout the book I was amazed at the many sights throughout California that were there in 1891 and remain there today: the seal islands by San Francisco, the trip around Monterrey, and the missions. Tours of California seemed to change little over the next century, which fascinated this reader. Mary had left her young daughter with her mother. The family had the means to provide for a few luxuries on this excursion, including some elegant hotels that have survived to this day. Also of interest were the many friends, new and old, they met along the way. The journey itself is of utmost interest. Mary¿s difficulty with her husband appears at times in her letters, as well as her showing love for George and missing him. But the letters are also filled with time spent with her cousin, Fred, and Sarah portrays a relationship of mutual love that went beyond a familial relationship for these cousins, although there is also nothing regarding Mary being unfaithful to her husband. It is a story of unrequited love for Fred and also for Mary. In the end Mary makes choices that effect the lives of her family, and Sarah portrays Mary¿s thoughts with skill and caring. I recommend this book to all those interested in genealogy and family history. What a treasure Sarah had in these letters and how well she has woven a story around them. I especially liked her summary of the family members in the beginning and her use of footnotes throughout to explain some of the topics in the letters for which she had done research. She also relates the family history following the trip. All in all this is a very good book that kept my interest throughout.
This is a wonderfully written story, based on actual letters from this era, and passed onto the Author. The detail and description of her words will get into your heart and mind, making this a must read for everyone!