Flower of Iowa

Lance Ringel (Author)


Lance Ringel's Flower of Iowa is a sprawling tale of battle and romance during the First World War, the four years that tore Europe in half and hastened the end of an era. In the tradition of stirring historical novels, this grand epic showcases courage, the resilience of the human spirit, and the transformative power of love. Flower of Iowa recalls Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, if that celebrated tale of love during wartime had featured two men at the bruised heart of the story.

The novel is set against the turbulent backdrop of France during the final months of World War I. Naïve, idealistic American soldier Tommy Flowers, a small-town boy from the Midwest, struggles to become a good soldier in the trenches. He draws the attention of Nicole Lacroix, a free-spirited French barmaid, but soon finds himself in a rivalry for her affections with his brash Australian lieutenant, Jamie Colbeck. At the same time, however, Tommy becomes best pals with savvy young British soldier David Pearson. The friendship soon develops an unexpected intimacy. Baffled by their feelings, but committed to exploring them further, Tommy and David do everything to spend time together, even after David is wounded and sent home to England to convalesce.

Flower of Iowa is meticulously researched, documenting the pivotal battles of 1918, life at the front lines, and the everyday challenges and tragedies facing the soldiers of the Great War. Author Ringel has created an instant classic, deeply compelling and authentic, recalling a fraught time when love between two men was territory as perilous and uncharted as No Man's Land.

Product Details

Price: $36.00  $32.40
Publisher: Lance Ringel
Published Date: April 06, 2020
Pages: 592
Dimensions: 6.14 X 1.44 X 9.21 inches | 2.35 pounds
Language: English
Type: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780578649344
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Lance Ringel has enjoyed a four-decade career as a journalist and writer. He first published his novel "Flower of Iowa" as an eBook in 2014. This debut met with unexpected success in the United States and Europe. Concurrently, Ringel's reputation as a playwright was growing. His play "In Love with the Arrow Collar Man," based on the true story of famed illustrator J.C. Leyendecker and his muse-lover Charles Beach, premiered at New York's Theatre 80 St. Marks. Both "Arrow Collar Man" and the musical "Animal Story," for which Ringel wrote books and lyrics, with music by Chuck Muckle, made the semifinals of the New York New Works Film Festival, and his stage adaptation of "Flower of Iowa" subsequently made the finals of the festival. At Vassar College, where he has worked for 20 years, Ringel wrote "Vassar Voices," which premiered at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Meryl Streep, Frances Sternhagen, and Lisa Kudrow. He also wrote the narrative for "At Home in the World," which played in Tokyo, New York, Washington, and Kampala, under the direction of John Caird. Ringel has also distinguished himself with an impressive career in politics. He served as Assistant Commissioner of Human Rights under New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and at the National Gay Task Force under veteran LGBTQ advocate Virginia Apuzzo. A native of central Illinois, Ringel currently resides in both New York City and in Poughkeepsie, NY, with his spouse of 43 years, actor-composer-director Chuck Muckle.


"Ringel packs a remarkable amount of flavor and detail into this debut work. In addition to providing a compelling love story, he serves up gripping depictions of the war's horrible, often absurd battles and the male camaraderie and army bureaucracy that accompanied them. ... Accomplished, touching historical fiction."

  • Kirkus Reviews

"Reading a truly wonderful WW1 novel. A gay romance, but not soppy or silly. So truthful and touching."

  • Stephen Fry, actor and author

"Set in France during four months of the last year of WWI and written with gorgeous, evocative prose, Lance Ringel's story of war and the love of two young soldiers is a book that will ring in your heart long after the last pages have been read."

  • Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet