Friday, September 15, 2017

The Greatest Generation

Official!  Mattie is now released.

Do you like history? If so, you'll enjoy Mattie's story. 
The story begins in 1925 and goes to WWII.

Here is an excerpt from the book.

"I’m anxious about it all. It’s on my mind all the time. I remember too much about the last one. The Great War ended when Maury and I were ten years old. Those were scary times for a child. That thing was supposed to be the War to End All Wars. Papa was too old to go, but he contributed to the effort with farm produce.” Mattie spoke while she poured coffee for Jesse.

“If it hadn’t ended, Joe and I would have gone. We were at the right age for it, and we are again. Joe will go, but my hand will keep me here.”

“Osage County had quite a few men back then and they were all between the ages of twenty-one and thirty. They had to register for the Selective Service Act. I remember it well. Maury and I had friends whose brothers fought in France. Ida Ann’s oldest brother died over there.”

At the mention of Maury, Jesse ground his teeth again and picked up his coffee cup with a shaking hand.

Mattie ignored his expression. “I recall those days like they were yesterday. Papa told us how President Wilson went to Congress to ask for a declaration of war. He stated in his speech that sending men into war would bring peace, freedom and safety to all nations. When he got to that part, Congress interrupted the President’s speech with applause. Papa thought it odd to applaud sending our young men to die in combat. President Wilson later said he thought the same thing.”

Jesse widened his eyes. “I can’t get over you chattering about these things. You didn’t babble like this when we first married.”

Mattie bit her lip, noticed his ugly expression, and went on. “Papa always said that Germany would find a way to retaliate for their country’s losses. I’m praying none of our men go, but I worry they will.”

Jesse gazed out the window and was silent for a moment. “I don’t believe the conflict will happen for us.” 

“I hope you’re right. I’ve never understood the reason men put us into war. I suppose it comes from a desire for land and power, Warfare is a terrible ordeal for young men to endure, and so many are needless. Take the Civil War as an example. Let’s pray for all the national leaders. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have.”

The characters in Mattie's Choice are fictional, but the circumstances they faced were real. Mattie, and her friend Ella, were inspired by two women I admired very much. These two lived during perilous times.  The Depression and the Dust Bowl took lives, homes and land. Polio was rampant. Route 66 came to be a reality. Women had few rights, but they'd been given the privilege to vote in 1920, and that was a major accomplishment. A baby born out of wedlock was shunned. The birth certificate read "Illegitimate."  Reading history makes us thankful for change and progress, and we learn from it.  The years between 1925 and 1940 had many challenges, but people were strong and resilient. they have been tagged "The Greatest Generation."

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