by Mim Neal
Linda White, Colorado award-winning author, will introduce For the Duration, a powerful World War II novel by the late Nancy Cather Phillips at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at LoCo Artisan Coffee, 544 Cleveland in Loveland.
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A longtime Loveland resident, Phillips died Nov. 1, 2016 after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer. Penstemon Publications (www.penstemonpublications.com) published her first novel, A Tardy Justice, in 2014 and Penstemon authors felt it essential that For the Duration be shared with the world.
The novel tells the story of a friendship between a young girl growing up in a small New Jersey town in the 1940s. Living across the street from a German-American family, the girl, Claire, was stunned when the family, which included her friend Carl, simply disappeared.
The 1940s was a dangerous time to have a German surname. In the novel, Phillips re-creates that atmosphere of fear, then leads the reader to the friends’ reunion, a lifetime later. We find out what happened in the interim – to German-Americans, Japanese-Americans, and Italian-Americans.
During World War II, those with certain heritages had to survive internment and other atrocities before melding back into American society, however scarred.
Linda White is the author of eleven published books including Too Many Pumpkins and the Christopher Award winning I Could Do That, Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote. A popular speaker at schools and writers’ conferences, White was an original member of the writing group that became Penstemon Publications. Nancy Phillips was her best friend and writing buddy for almost 30 years. She helped Phillips’ husband Wayne retrieve For the Duration from the author’s computer files.
Penstemon authors will be on hand to sell copies of For the Duration and other Penstemon books. Portions of the proceeds will go to the Immigrant Freedom Fund (www.immigrantfreedomfund.org). The event is free and open to the public.