I am an avid reader and a dedicated book blogger but sometimes I get requests from authors to review their books and unfortunately I just don’t have the time in my busy schedule and/or perhaps it’s just not quite my thing. So every once in a while instead of reading/reviewing their book, I’ll agree to put together a little post to help pass along the word in case any of you readers out there will find it interesting. This time it seems the book roulette has landed on a Historical Fiction novel. It sounds like the type of story that might stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. This post includes an excerpt and giveaway! Here we go…
John J. Siefring
Fiction | Historical
February 12, 2018
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Born in the village of Easkey, Ireland just before World War II, Cara Brannan dreams of becoming a nurse and starting a new life in America. Her mother, an Irish suffragette, encourages Cara to set goals and be fiercely independent. She moves to Dublin and begins nurses training at Saint John’s Hospital, forging friendships and encountering obstacles as a young single woman. Then she meets Aiden Whyte. Like-minded, Cara and Aiden join forces, marry, and journey to the States as newlyweds.
Welcoming their son Caleb into the world, Cara embraces motherhood. As a new mother and nurse in New York City, she struggles, facing class conflict, career barriers, and loneliness. Cara endures because of her strength of character, compassion, and an irrepressible joy of life.
As Caleb comes of age, it’s his turn to carve out a place for himself during the late 1960s—a time of turbulence, protest, and incredible change. He finds New York to be a challenge but filled with opportunity.
Caleb’s Window will quietly move into your heart and mind, remaining long after you turn the final page.
3 winners will be randomly selected to receive a free Kindle copy of CALEB’S WINDOW.
(Runs 9/21 – 9/24; Open Internationally)
A memory difficult to push away, though Cara tried, was the first time she left Caleb with Mrs. Corradi. She was located on Woodycrest Avenue, near the Triangle. It was a Monday morning in spring, and Cara had to be on duty at the hospital. Although the other mothers said the woman was great with children, Cara was nervous as she released the two-year-old from her arms. He could sense something was different when he awoke. He searched her face for an answer as to why things were not the same as other mornings. He soon discovered, watching his mother walk away down the long hall toward the stairway. He reached back into his little lungs to find the loudest cry he could muster. He was successful. A shrill C note bounced off the hallway walls and ceilings, into Cara’s ears, clear through her heart, never to be unheard. She reversed course, hugged him once more, heading to work with the mutual refrain of Mrs. Corradi’s reassurances and Caleb’s pleas as reminders that she was not made of sterner stuff.
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The Writing Process
CALEB’S WINDOW was two years in the making, once I actually sat down to begin the process. First, I had to catch my breath after spending almost five years writing my first novel, AN IMPORTANT DAY.
The idea of Cara Brannan as a resilient, free-spirited individual came to mind a number of years ago when I began my internship in a Manhattan hospital. She is the culmination of many female nurses that I worked with in clinical settings, individuals struggling for leadership and recognition in the face of gender bias and career discrimination. There was, at one time, a marriage bar nurses had to contend with; if you married while in nursing school, you were dismissed from training. Also, when it came to employment, single women were hired for nursing positions while those who married were not considered at all. This was based on the assumption that married women did not need to work (subtext: the appropriate place for women who marry is in the home). This was during an era when very few women were accepted into medical schools and really didn’t begin to change until the late 1960s. By the way, such discrimination was taking place in Europe, as well as the United States. I just felt that this issue needed to be addressed. Cara Brannan, although a fictional character, helped me to accomplish my goal as a writer.
John J. Siefring is the author of the debut novel An Important Day. Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in the Bronx, he has assumed various career tracks, including Wall Street, NYC cab driver, college professor, and clinical psychologist.
He received his doctoral degree in psychology from Fordham University. He has held positions on the adjunct faculty of Long Island University, Stony Brook University, and Pace University. He now lives on Long Island and Manhattan.