Dearest Anna: A Love Story

Dearest Anna: A Love Story

by Carol J Allis
Dearest Anna: A Love Story

Dearest Anna: A Love Story

by Carol J Allis


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“Before my grandmother, there was Anna.”

So begins the true story of a family secret, a trunkful of hidden letters, and a love story buried for almost a century.

In 1894 Roy and Anna graduated from high school and began writing hundreds of love letters to each other until 1898, when Anna died, suddenly and tragically. Roy was devastated. Even after he married, he grieved every year on the anniversary of Anna’s death. The letters lay hidden for decades until his granddaughter – the author – brought them out of the shadows.

And what letters they are – lyrical, passionate, full of utter trust and faith in each other. Roy is a hopeless romantic, struggling with his studies in college, but secretly longing to be a writer or go on the stage. Anna is a studious bookworm – fierce, headstrong, driven – determined to become a teacher in a time when women are beginning to rage against tradition. While Roy hoists 100-pound bags of flour and kills rats with his bare hands in his father’s mill, Anna bores through teacher’s college, forges off alone to the frozen north for her first full-time teaching job, and battles recurring illness. Their lives become entwined with the famous Mayo brothers in the shadow of the rising Mayo Clinic.

The letters are laced with history, social revolution, and political turmoil in a time of stunning change. And Roy and Anna were voracious readers – their spirited love of books and the greatest authors of their time spills out across the pages.

So who was Anna – this woman Roy loved so deeply that he kept and hid all their letters and grieved for her every year, even after his 63-year marriage to someone else?

This is Anna and Roy’s story – a snapshot in time in the waning days of the Gilded Age; a love story for the ages. In Anna’s words: “We will write as often as we must, for we are never going to be tired of each other if we live a thousand years.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946195524
Publisher: Carol Jean Allis
Publication date: 12/03/2019
Pages: 410
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Carol Allis has been writing since her father gave her a manual Underwood typewriter when she was 7. Born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota, she graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, with a degree in English education, and has spent her entire professional working life in public service. She first taught junior and senior high English and English as a Foreign Language to Hispanic students. She served as a committee clerk and committee administrator for the Minnesota House of Representatives; media relations specialist for Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis; communications director for the Minneapolis Community Development Agency; a brief midlife adventure as long-distance education coordinator for Cook County along the North Shore of Lake Superior; public information officer for the Health Care Division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services; and news writer/media relations, outreach and crisis communications specialist for Hennepin County Public Affairs. She specialized in paring down governmentalize into words ordinary people could understand.

Her greatest accomplishment has been raising two precious sons and shepherding amazing grandchildren. Her first book - Poems for Ordinary People - was published in 2012 just before she retired. Allis lives near beloved family in Minnetonka, Minnesota, with husband Peter (a retired history professor) and an unbelievably old cat (who knows all her secrets).

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