Do you enjoy reading epistolary novels that are written, in part, through diary entries or letters? If so, you’ll enjoy my upcoming novel, In a Grove of Maples. One of my main characters, Beryl Massart, keeps a diary. Each chapter opens with a diary entry of hers dated from the future, so readers get a taste for what is ahead in the story and keeps them turning the pages. That’s the goal, anyway! 🙂
Keeping a journal has been of great importance to me over the years, so I chose to include that in many of my characters’ lives in my novels. Writing my thoughts down has helped me through many a rough patch. Do you or have you ever kept a journal or diary?
Below is an excerpt from one of Beryl’s diary entries.
February 28th, 1898
Edward will be home soon. A part of me longs to see him, while a part of me rebels at the idea of his presence. During the four months he’s been gone to the lumber camp, I’ve gotten used to being alone. Working alone. Eating alone. Living alone.
Grief for our son—whom Edward never even met—washes over me afresh at times.
I wrapped Lyle in the baby blanket my mother had sent for him before the coroner took his little body away. I hate to think of him stacked like a chunk of firewood at the cemetery with other poor souls waiting to be buried in the spring. The ground is too frozen to bury him in February. I look forward to the spring thaw, so I can lay him to rest properly.
I wrote Edward, of course, but talking with him face to face about our loss scares me. In my heart I know blame cannot be attributed to him, but I do it anyway. Perhaps if he had been here to shoulder the workload, Lyle would have been born stronger. I might not have been so bone weary at the end of every day. At least if he had been here, he could have comforted me. Held me. Loved me. Grieved with me. Instead, I had to settle for Buster’s affection. The love of a dog comforts, but Buster’s kisses and presence do not equal Edward’s affection. When was the last time his arms were around me? I can’t remember.
Thank God for Nola. Without her checking on me now and then throughout this winter, I would have succumbed to severe melancholy. I laugh at the thought. Maybe I am more like Mama than I imagined myself to be.
I can hear the cows mooing to be milked. Their poor udders are probably ready to burst. It’s past my usual chore time, but I have to pen my thoughts first before I start my rounds.
I dreamt about Lyle last night—what he might be like as a boy. The image of a tousle-haired, rosy-cheeked fellow came to me. He smiled and held his little hand out to me, but just as I reached out and touched him, he vanished. I awoke, my pillow wet with tears.
How can Edward understand what we’ve lost when he didn’t hold our son, or see his perfect, little features? How do I tell him what Lyle was like? It is as if our hearts reside on two different continents now. We have drifted so far apart. I can’t imagine how, but I pray to the Almighty for a way to bridge the divide between us. May the Lord hear my prayer.
Thanks for reading!
I hoped you enjoyed this taste of In a Grove of Maples. The release date approaches on July 1st! Readers can pre-order the Kindle now. Paperback copies will be available on the 1st, if not before.
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