Author: Lucinda Sue Crosby
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Romance
Winner of Four Literary Prizes / Author selected as one of “50 Authors You Should be Reading” by The Authors Show online media outlet
“Funny at times and filled with little pearls of everyday wisdom, this book is as much a romantic thriller as it is a perfect little capsule of a time gone by. It is a book about love of all kinds - between grandmother and child, between child and dog, between man and woman.”
This book is about an unconventional 59-year old woman, Francesca, and her resourceful 10-year old granddaughter, Sarah, who share the adventures of a lifetime over the summer of 1947 in Lost Nation, Iowa. Together, they enchant barnstorming pilots, wow Clinton County Fair attendees, conquer the skies, confront an escaped arsonist, discover how Lost Nation got its intriguing name, and eventually demonstrate to one another the greatest truth about love.
Anyone who loves their grandmother will enjoy reading this Romance Fiction about family, friendship and strong women.
With only eight days left before my parents’ departure, there were a gazillion of things to attend to. We actually had lists of lists. And let’s not forget the blizzard of special delivery letters: One from Daddyboys to Mr. Toynbee at “World Travel” accepting the award; another from Francesca to our relatives in New York telling them Clay and Rachael would be visiting; and still another to Great Aunt Maude and Great Uncle Harry who were asked to visit Home Farm to supposedly help out at Daddyboys’ business but actually to keep Francesca and me out of trouble. Fat chance!
Travel documents needed signatures, a money draft had to be drawn up and trip reservations needed verification. As it turned out, my parents would also linger an extra day in Manhattan to hammer out the rest of the “particulars” with the editors of “World Travel” before venturing across the pond.
Our usually silent phone didn’t stop ringing. People we hardly knew called or stopped by trying to sell my parents luggage, wallets, passport holders and cures for Montezuma’s Revenge. Then there was the constant stream of unsolicited advice: Don’t drink the water; watch out for pickpockets and don’t spoil those European waiters and bellhops by over tipping.
Daddyboys was clearly enjoying the spotlight. Forget Lost Nation’s only newspaper, The Daily Pulse, in our tight-knit community, the grape vine was the fastest way to get the word out and it didn’t take much to start the information rolling. I recall an afternoon when 1,000 people gathered at one of the neighboring farms to witness a gizmo dreamed up by a local that was supposed to pick up and drop mail sacks in one fell swoop. Apparently, he’d worked on this machine for nearly a decade. That was considered really BIG news.
These days, however, the folks just wanted to gaze upon the town’s newest celebrity, whose face and prose would grace the feature page of a big time magazine. While my father was basking in the radiance of his growing fame, Rachael also looked to be caught up in the excitement, which surprised me. For once, she didn’t seem to care one whit about having to set her baking aside or letting her beloved stove go cool for hours at a time.
She and Francesca were also each other’s constant companions. Together they hemmed and restitched clothing, redesigning everything “decent” in my mother's closet at least twice.
Shopping trips were high on the list. Hats, gloves and shoes were waiting to be tried on and purchased, not to mention two new sets of suspenders in gray and blue for Daddyboys.
“And you need proper lingerie, Rachael. No daughter of mine is going to Paris without a few frilly under things. It'll add to your confidence." Francesca pronounced.
While my mother made a series of ruthless packing decisions, Daddyboys finalized arrangements for help at the garage while he was gone.
Uncle Harry would take on the occasional major mechanical problems. But my father also wanted to bring in someone who already knew the day-to-day ropes and could help Harry out with the nuts and bolts of routine maintenance. For that, there wasn’t anyone better than Abraham Lancer, the solitary taxicab driver in Lost Nation as well as the head of the only black household.
Abraham often worked with my father during the winter months when farm vehicles got their annual overhauls and the taxi business was slow. So it was decided Abraham and Harry would be looking after things, with Uncle Harry expected to drive over from Des Moines in a couple weeks.
The idea of Harry’s visit, however, was sure to unsettle Francesca.
My Great Uncle had lived a rather steady sort of life with just one or two major hitches in the proceedings. He was born and grew up with his prominent family in Lost Nation, which was where he met the Pittschtick sisters, Maude, of the gorgeous face, and Francesca of the regal limbs. Starting in elementary, they had all attended school together and it was common knowledge that Harry was the catch of the county, being the eldest son from the wealthiest family in the area. He was an earnest, sober and sweet-tempered man who early on showed a gift for both fixing machinery and fiddling with numbers. One thing was sure - he had no interest in farming and so would have to find his own way in the world.
Everyone liked Harry. He was not effusive, yet he got along famously with the high born and the low brow. And for a time, Harry and Francesca were deeply and truly in love.
I wasn’t there for the courtship but was told bits and pieces of the story many times. Everyone in Lost Nation had an opinion that colored their own treasured set of “facts.”
About the Author:
Lucinda Sue Crosby is a Nashville songwriter, commissioned poet, award-winning journalist, and award-winning author as well as a Kindle bestseller. She also is a former Hollywood actress and professional athlete.
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