The casket and corpse of Madeline Locke float down the Missouri River from Schimmerhorn’s Mortuary during the Hundred Year Flood in Defiance, MO, August, 1993.
James leads the search for his mother’s body, frustrated by the absurdity of the search in the turbulent, backwater landscape and his father’s strange response to grief.
The Locke’s and Schimmerhorn’s battle to locate the casket and body to arrange for a perfect burial.
James’ sisters are confused by emotions they feel regarding the disease, death and disappearance of their mother.
Half-wit Alvin Schimmerhorn, son of “Old Cottonmouth,” discovers Maddy’s body and displays her burial clothes in a his own family’s shrine. Alvin delivers the body while his father faces the Locke’s with an alternative plan for burial. The battle intensifies.
Versions of this saga about disease, death, grief and tangled
relationships are recounted for the reader by James’ Aunt Oletha, family historian, and by his sister, Amelia, who drives a thousand miles and talks to a stuffed frog between Spearfish, S.D. and Defiance, Missouri. Galen leaves the house, to go fishing. He intends to scatter Maddy’s ashes over the surface of the flooded Missouri River.
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About the Author
A 1990 textbook that Hampton co-authored with Angus W. McDougall titled, Picture Editing and Layout; a guide to better visual communication, is an internationally well-recognized publication. The co-authors taught at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. All proceeds from international distribution were donated to the University of Missouri Photojournalism Department, Columbia, MO.
Hampton taught in Missouri high schools (1961-1978) then at UMC, 1980~1983. She continued at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN 1983-1990. Her graduate degrees in education, secondary administration/supervision and photojournalism were awarded from the University of Missouri at both Columbia and St. Louis.
Over 30 years, V. J. Hampton received awards for speaking, teaching, editing and publications design. She edited and co-authored seven photo-related books since 1979, contributed articles and photos to magazines and newspapers since 1957, and began this novel, August in Defiance, in 1993. From 2006, Hampton completed two books of poetry with photos, Light Travels, and Light Travels II. A third book of poetry with photographs, Windows to Vietnam, A Journey in Pictures & Verse, was co-authored with Scott Charles Clarkson, Cheshire Publishing. The coffee-table art book was internationally distributed in 2007 and 2009 editions. Turtles and Trains is one other Hampton title now
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Causes a wide range of emotional turmoil, funny, sad, anger inducing, frustrating, exciting, extreme levels of anticipation, realism, and more realism. Very descriptive. Sights, sounds, touching, tastes and smells, sometimes too much smell, sometimes too much realism, great book, tough subject.