Guatemala: An Endless Chain of Repression and Liberation
If you’ve been keeping up with the saga of my Shenandoah Album novels, you know that Endless Chain is being re-released today, this time in a lovely trade paper version, at a bargain price. Right now the book is $8.99 at Amazon. And it won’t be more than $9.99 anywhere else.
To celebrate the re-release of the first three books of the series, I’m giving away four matching quilt pattern books for each novel. I’ve given away five already, including one Quilt Along with Emilie Richards: Endless Chain. Details here.
You may have noticed there’s been quite a progression of covers.
Then the mass market paperback:
And even the Lithuanian version:
Now the lovely trade paperback, on sale beginning today. Do you have a favorite?
I know my readers are always curious why I choose certain subjects, characters and settings for my novels. Well, me, too. I can never say why exactly but my influences are always different.
In the case of Endless Chain, I had already introduced Sam, the minister of the church that Helen–a character who reappears in every Shenandoah Album book–attended in Wedding Ring. Sam interested me. What brought a young man with a fabulous education, an “up and comer” from a large Atlanta church to a small country church in Virginia? Was this his choice? Or had he been forced in a different direction on his career path?
About the same time I was driving through the Toms Brook area and noticed all the signs in Spanish. What had brought these immigrants to the Valley and how were they being accepted? The Valley was settled by Pennsylvania Dutch and by Scots-Irish, so Spanish speakers from Latin America were plowing a brand new furrow in the rich Valley soil.
Finally as I began to research problems in Latin America that influence emigration from a variety of countries I became particularly fascinated with the political struggles in Guatemala.
From all this comes the story.
Sam Kinkade: A talented young man trying to find his way back into ministry and a better relationship with his creator.
Elisa Martinez: A young woman hiding her true identity and occupation out of fear of reprisal.
A community of Latin American immigrants tentatively beginning to bond with long-time residents with deep roots in Virginia.
A group of quilters and a church who opens its arms to them.
A story in the making.
It’s rare for me to research a novel AFTER its been published. But after Endless Chain was released I was given the opportunity to visit Guatemala on a social justice trip. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’d gotten so much right, although I couldn’t and didn’t begin to convey the difficulties of the Mayan population living there. I’m not sure words can ever convey what these people have lived through and are still undergoing.
I’ll be sharing some photos from that trip next week. Although the novel takes place in Virginia, stop by to see where Elisa comes from, a country of great natural beauty, generous people, and breathtaking crafts. Let me share a bit of what I found there.
I have really enjoyed all the Shenandoah Album books (and hope there soon will be more in the series!) but “Endless Chain” always has been my favorite. I seem to have loaned away my copy so will be ordering the new edition.
I think that deserves an autographed bookplate. Send me your mailing address (must be before Saturday) and I’ll try to get one out to you. If I don’t make that deadline, remind me in the fall.
Endless Chain is my favorite, because it was the first one I read in the series, I read it and the Wedding Ring in one day!
Wow! Those aren’t short books, either.