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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear John by Norma Betz

Dear John
~Norma L Betz

This is a delightful first novel from an author who shows great promise.

A young woman is faced with the death of her last relative - the aunt she was named for and who helped her when her parents were tragically killed when she was nineteen. Through love, support and financial assistance, her aunt made sure she completed college and graduate school. As young adults do, Suzanna allowed the distance to grow between them as she established her life and career. Now, her only family was gone and she had to face the obligation to sort through the life that is gone. Any adult who has faced becoming an orphan can relate to the multitude of emotions that one suffers through.

With her companion, Quincy, a five-year-old Weimaraner, Susanna heads to the home she has inherited from her aunt. When she arrives, she meets the people who have shared her aunt's life and the haunting questions about her past. She inherits a treasure trove of history from their ancestor Abigail Adams, including some of the letters she wrote to John Adams in the beginning of the Revolution. Susanna becomes inspired by Abigail's letters. And, she becomes inspired by her aunt's life as she gets to know her aunt's friends, and finds that they are embracing her as a friend as well. It is the story of the strength of a family of women... the quiet strength that keeps them going through life. While Suzanna is admiring it in Abigail and her Aunt Suzanna, she comes to realize that it is something else she shares with them.

Unfortunately, the wealth of the treasures become a target for someone unscrupulous and causes grave danger to Susanna and Quincy and their new friends, as well as the beginnings of love.

Anyone who is interested in American history will enjoy a journey into some of the letters of Abigail Adams during the early years of the Revolution. The journey is memorable and a remarkable window on the world of 1775.

I really enjoyed this book!

The critical side of me has to complain loudly about the font used for the letters of Abigail Adams. It was nice to have a font change to distinguish the letters from the story, but the one used was difficult to read, which made it harder to enjoy the wealth of the letters and to enjoy the book.

If I were to give any advise to Norma Betz, I would say DO NOT HOLD BACK. I felt like she was always trying to neatly package and contain her characters, yet she had created these wonderfully deep characters who wanted to breathe. Let them breathe! Quincy, too!

I hope Norma Betz follows with a second book!

Her website is found here.

1 comment:

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