Up to this point, the picks for the LTC Book Club have been non-fiction, so we decided that summer vacation was the perfect time to dive into some fiction! Who doesn’t love a good beach read? So, our pick for July is This Is How It Begins, an award-winning novel by Joan Dempsey that brings the spectre of World War II to bear on our modern times, delving into themes of free speech, religious freedom and what happens when long-held secrets come to light. Doesn’t that sound good?
Winner of the 2017 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers and named by “Poets & Writers” magazine as one of “5 more over 50” writers to watch, Joan Dempsey is the author of the novel, This Is How It Begins, which won a bronze medal for literary fiction in the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) and was shortlisted for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award, the 2017 Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award and the 2018 Sarton Women’s Book Award. Joan received her MFA degree and teaching certificate in creative writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She lives in New Gloucester, Maine with her partner and their family of animals.
About The Book:
“In 2009, eighty-five-year-old art professor Ludka Zeilonka gets drawn into a political firestorm when her grandson, Tommy, is among a group of gay Massachusetts teachers fired for allegedly discriminating against Christian kids in high school classrooms. The ensuing battle to reinstate the teachers raises the specter of Ludka’s World War II past―a past she’s spent a lifetime trying to forget.
The firings are the brainchild of Warren Meck, a deeply religious local radio host and father of three who is hoping to pass a religious freedom bill in Massachusetts. Meck favors achieving his goals through careful planning and legislation and is disturbed when violence erupts. His concern quickly turns to alarm when he realizes those within his inner circle might be inciting the violence.
As Ludka’s esteemed political family defends Tommy under increasingly vicious conditions, a stranger with connections to Ludka’s past shows up and threatens to expose her for illegally hoarding a valuable painting presumed stolen by the Nazis. Only one other person knew about the painting―a man she’s been trying to find for sixty years.
Compulsively readable, This Is How It Begins is a timely novel about free speech, religious freedom, the importance of empathy and the bitter consequences of long-buried secrets.”
Join us on July 25th, when we go live with Joan on the Lose The Cape! Facebook page. Let us know you’re going, even if you’re not sure you’ll make it! (As always, it’ll be recorded so you can watch it later.)
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