By Victoria Brenna
Francis Nelson was too young to die.
His strong-willed daughter, Claudia, dealing with her grief and uncertain of the role she must assume, knew that she alone could save her farm and carve out a future for herself. While their life had never been easy, times were unusually hard in May 1932 in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin. The Depression was causing the value of everything to plummet—banks were closing and interest rates on loans were skyrocketing. Hot and unpredictable weather caused by the Dust Bowl was affecting their small township as well as the rest of the country. But in this harsh and desperate environment, an unlikely love opens a world of music that gives Claudia release and a new perspective on her closed community. Her image of herself and the two men in her life is threatened when she discovers secrets about her father and the man who is the antithesis of him. Can the guarded Claudia learn to lean on others or will she fall alone?
“A deeply felt and richly drawn novel about love, mourning, commitment, and community in a time of great challenge. Aria for a Farm: Lean Together or Fall Alone snares its reader on the first page and never lets go. A wonderful first novel from a new and authentic Midwestern writer.”—Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Love Songs and Little Faith
Grief and gratitude sparked the conception of Aria for a Farm: Lean Together or Fall Alone about a small Wisconsin farming community in the 1930s. Life-changing health concerns and the loss of loved ones fueled the author’s writing. The abundant goodwill of townsfolk and city friends who populate the pages as composite characters from her community ignited her desire to capture the sometimes annoying but usually redeeming compulsion of neighbor to help neighbor in trying times.
She has published several nonfiction pieces and writes children’s stories, poems, and memoir selections. Aria for a Farm is her first novel.
Sharon R. Lowry
Last May we lost an important author, editor, and partner. In salute to her excellence, we assembled her writings into a book. Check out Bounded in a Nutshell. The collection of her 145 works is a rare find.