This Is How It Begins
Joan Dempsey (Author)
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Description"In a time when religious liberty is on trial, This Is How It Begins is an extraordinarily pertinent novel dripping in suspense and powerful scenes of political discourse . . . a must read . . ." --Foreword (starred review) "Beautifully written . . . an ambitious and moving debut novel." --Lily King, the New York Times best-selling author of Writers & Lovers A woman bearing a thorny secret. A man fighting for religious freedom. A battle neither saw coming. Massachusetts, 2009. Ludka Zeilonka is relishing her emeritus status. With the horrors of World War II willfully buried in her past, the eighty-five year-old art professor doesn't want to accept that there's escalating cultural unrest in her adoptive country. But when her gay grandson is fired for allegedly silencing Christian kids in his classroom, she and her influential family are thrust into the center of a political firestorm. Warren Meck is worried about his sons. Leading a statewide effort to protect free speech in public schools for Christian kids, the popular radio host is on the cusp of taking his fight to the State House. But when his carefully orchestrated campaign turns unexpectedly violent, he's alarmed by suspicions that someone within his inner circle might be responsible. As the increasingly vicious conflict plays out on the public stage, Ludka wrestles with resurfacing memories . . . and the exposure of a well-guarded secret. And when Meck identifies the culprit behind the violence, he faces an unbearable choice that could jeopardize his family's future. Can these two come to grips with unwelcome truths in time to make a stand in the final political showdown? This Is How It Begins is an emotionally gripping literary novel. If you like even-handed stories about hot-button social issues, rich character development, and thought-provoking narratives, then you'll love Joan Dempsey's captivating page-turner.
She Writes Press
September 29, 2017
5.2 X 7.9 X 1.0 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author
One of "5 more writers over 50" to watch. --Poets & Writers Magazine Winner of the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, Joan Dempsey is the author of the novel, This Is How It Begins, which won the bronze Independent Publisher Book Award for literary fiction and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award, and Sarton Women's Book Award. This Is How It Begins was also selected by the American Library Association for the 2018 Over the Rainbow List of Literature Titles. Among other awards and accolades, Joan has received a significant research grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, a full scholarship to the Key West Literary Seminars and Workshops, a Maine Literary Award, and a residency at the Jentel Artists Residency Program. She holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her writing has been published in The Adirondack Review, Alligator Juniper, Obsidian: Literature of the African Diaspora, and Plenitude Magazine, and aired on National Public Radio. She lives in Maine with her partner and their family of animals. Learn more at joandempsey.com.
2018 IPPY Bronze Medal Winner in Literary Fiction 2017 Foreword Indies Finalist in Adult Fiction--Historical 2018 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Gay Fiction 2017-2018 Sarton Women's Book Award Finalist in Contemporary Fiction 2017 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers Winner in Fiction "... an extraordinarily pertinent novel dripping in suspense and powerful scenes of political discourse ... a must-read ...." --FOREWORD (starred review) "... Dempsey's fine first novel [is] notable for the evenhanded way it addresses hot-button issues. The result is a timely and memorable story." --BOOKLIST "A gripping and sensitive portrait of ordinary people wrestling with ideological passions." --KIRKUS "Dempsey's fine debut, set in 2009, explores how hate, fear, and intolerance cast a lifelong shadow. Current events have only made this gripping story more relevant." --LIBRARY JOURNAL "... a thought-provoking and timely novel." --THE ADVOCATE " ... [Dempsey's] talent is evident ... a fast-paced, entertaining read." --MAINE SUNDAY TELEGRAM "... timely, suspenseful and powerful exploration of the ... conflict between religious freedom and civil rights ... a provocative hit." --KENNEBEC JOURNAL "... [the novel] is nothing if not timely ... an enticing read." --MAINE WOMEN MAGAZINE "... a page-turner ... a perfect book club choice for these contentious times." --HUNGRY FOR GOOD BOOKS " ... a writer worth watching, a novel worth reading." --B. Lynn Goodwin, STORY CIRCLE BOOK REVIEWS "A remarkable novel ... an essential story for our time." --MATTHEW GOODMAN, New York Times bestselling author of Eighty Days "A spellbinding novel ... a moving adventure ..." --DR. EVA FOGELMAN, Pulitzer Prize Nominee for Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust "A riveting story ... this striking debut is essential reading for our times." --JUDITH FRANK, Lambda Literary Award Finalist for All I Love and Know "... a prescient road map for our times." --MARY RECHNER, author of Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women "... a compelling story that seems to rise out of ... current national headlines." --FRANK O. SMITH, Bellwether Prize finalist for Dream Singer