AMERICAN HISTORICAL NOVELS discussion

This I Know
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Eldonna's Introduction & Prize Offer

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Eldonna Edwards Hello friends! I’m ​Eldonna Edwards and ​I'm excited to host American Historical Novels ​group​ this week.

Set in ​the fictional town of Cherry Hill, Michigan,​ THIS I KNOW (Kensington Publishing) ​features a clairvoyant preacher's daughter who comes of age in the 1960s/70s Midwest.

New York Times Bestselling Author ​Lesley Kagen describes it like this: “​A heartfelt and beautifully crafted debut about an eleven-year-old girl struggling to find her place in the world. THIS I KNOW shines, thanks to narrator Grace, one of the most authentic child characters I've come across in a long time. Don't miss this one."

This week ​​I’ll be speaking about the inspiration for the novel, ​how music defined the era, the things we miss, things we're glad no longer exist, and much more. ​You can win a copy of THIS I KNOW (hardcover​ or​ audio CD) by commenting on any of the posts.

Be sure to ask your friends to join the book club on Facebook and Goodreads!


message 2: by Dyana (new) - added it

Dyana | 189 comments OK!!!


Eldonna Edwards Hi Dyana! Great to see you here. :)


Darlene | 2 comments Hello looking forward to reading this book. Its on my wishlist as I have some I have to read first before I buy new again!


Eldonna Edwards Hi Darlene! I feel ya, girl. :)


message 6: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
I am so interested in 11-year old girls. For some reason, I feel like this is a pivotal age for girls — the transition from just taking in the world to an increased awareness of how the world sees you.

Can you talk a little about what the age 11 means to you? Do you think it's different for girls than for boys?

Thanks!
Martha


Eldonna Edwards Hi Martha!

I like the way you juxtapose those two experiences as we come of age. Eleven is such a special age for girls, right before we're flooded with hormones, when we're able to hold onto that last scrap of innocence. I think for boys that transition comes around closer to 12. At least, that's my experience with my own daughters and son.

Throughout the book Grace talks about how her child self sometimes argues with her becoming-adult self. For example, she wants to swing high on a board hung from a tree but stops herself because she's decided that would be childish. But in the end she realizes you never outgrow your favorite aunt's lap. :)

My next book, CLOVER BLUE, features a young boy and opens on his 12th birthday. Twelve felt truer to that moment when a male begins to question/assert his sense of self.

Both of my books are set in the 1960s/70s and I think things have shifted somewhat since then. Boys andgirls alike are bombarded with messages that push them through that precious fabric of innocence too soon, IMO.


message 8: by Leanna (new)

Leanna Mattea There definitely has been a shift in girls and boys from the 60’s-70s era, the time that my son and daughter grew up. At 11 and 12, they were both into sports and enjoyed their recreation and their paper routes. My daughter was a Tom boy, so she was more into playing baseball, running track and going to movies. They were out playing all day. They didn’t seem to have the issues that today’s adolescence experience. Much calmer lives!


Eldonna Edwards I couldn't agree more Leanna! We stopped home for lunch and returned from play when the street lights came on in the evening. I also think that girls develop earlier due to all the hormones in the food supply, causing a disruption in the normal thread of adolescence. :( The added stimulation and demands of media make navigating this transition even more challenging. I'm glad for the positive cultural changes in the last 50-60 years but I would not want to go through my teens in this day and age.


Leanna wrote: "There definitely has been a shift in girls and boys from the 60’s-70s era, the time that my son and daughter grew up. At 11 and 12, they were both into sports and enjoyed their recreation and their..."


message 10: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Eldonna wrote: "Hi Martha!

I like the way you juxtapose those two experiences as we come of age. Eleven is such a special age for girls, right before we're flooded with hormones, when we're able to hold onto that..."


Transitions are great fodder for fiction. I remember having those feelings of "being too old for that now." Sad in a way, but completely natural. Your stories sound very compelling.


message 11: by Beverly (new) - added it

Beverly Leanna wrote: "There definitely has been a shift in girls and boys from the 60’s-70s era, the time that my son and daughter grew up. At 11 and 12, they were both into sports and enjoyed their recreation and their..."
I agree. When my daughter was growing up in the 70's ad 80's girls were not as "mature" as they seem today. I just attended my grandson's eighth-grade graduation. I was struck by how mature the girls were in heels and fancy dresses. Boys of course were more casual and most still look like pre-teens even though they are 14.


message 12: by Rebecca, Champagne Widows, 2021 (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rebecca Rosenberg (rebeccarosenberg) | 270 comments Mod
Hi Eldonna, Is your book an appropriate read for 11 year olds? Would they enjoy it?


Eldonna Edwards Rebecca THIS I KNOW is written for adults and due to mature themes that include a sexual assault I would say 11 is a bit young. Probably more like 14 and up. I suggest reading it first and deciding for yourself.

Rebecca wrote: "Hi Eldonna, Is your book an appropriate read for 11 year olds? Would they enjoy it?"


message 14: by Rebecca, Champagne Widows, 2021 (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rebecca Rosenberg (rebeccarosenberg) | 270 comments Mod
Of course! Thank you!


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