In her memoir of life during the Great War, English writer Vera Britain concluded that if the living are to be of any use in the world, they must always break faith with the dead. This is the hard lesson nineteen-year-old Meryl Goodson must learn in the summer of 1918 when her cousin Nora’s fiancé is killed in France. His death causes a rift in the small community of Swann River between those for the war and those against it. Local “patriots” begin harassing the town’s German immigrants and any citizen deemed anti-American, including Meryl’s father, a physician who has criticized the war in a letter to the local newspaper.
The Ways of Mud and Bone is author Carrie Ann Lahain’s attempt to shed light on an often overlooked period in America’s history. The Great War impacted America on almost every level—personal, political, economic—and yet this conflict is rarely or only superficially covered in schools and the media. The author figures that if even one educator reads this novel and decides to present a unit on the First World War, it will make the extensive research and effort that went into the project more than worth it.
Carrie Ann Lahain is a writer, editor, and book reviewer living in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her fiction focuses on character-driven narratives about individuals caught between their desire for genuine human connection and the trials inherent in day-to-day living.
Carrie Ann’s work has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and literary journals including, Art Times, Italian Americana, Mature Years, 300 Days of Sun and The Wrong Side of the Law. Her book blog http://www.carrieannlahain.com reviews books old and new and offers essays aimed at writers interested in honing their craft through the close reading and analysis of current and classic works of fiction.
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