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Barn cats waiting their turn at milking time. Katie waited too.
Novels by M.J. Brett
(a.k.a. Margaret Brettschneider)
the washtub in the background for boiling laundry.
ISBN # 978-0-9748869-5-4 I Think I Can, I Think I Can
From the relationship of an old farmer, a Victorian zealot, and a precocious three-year-old comes the advice, “Life is what it is, Child. Deal with it, or accept it and let it be.”
But a child wants to know “Why?” Katie's coming of age revolves around her search for answers to ties broken, half-distorted memories, and irrational fears that will lead her from abandonment and betrayal only to more questions.
How do we reach goals that seem too far away to even try? Can handicaps be overcome? How do we learn to fit in someplace in the world when we feel on the outside looking in? How do we forgive what we can’t understand? Can deep wounds ever heal? Can we change love and make it new? Will a reluctant reunion set one free?
The lesson learned: by forgiving others and yourself, you can keep the past from ruining your future.
This tender depiction of a child’s mind makes us think twice about what we say when we assume children cannot yet understand, or they will not remember. We see it all the time at the supermarket. "You're so bad...stupid...I'll leave you here!" How will their innocent perceptions of what we say be revealed in a child's life choices?
Frank McCourt said of Angela’s Ashes, “Children are almost deadly in their detachment from the world ... They are absolutely pragmatic, and they tell the truth.”
Katie tells the truth as she sees it, and tries to adapt herself to its uncomfortable demands through illness, handicap, Depression, World War II, and its traumatic aftermath. Perhaps we are never meant to know the why of a matter in order to survive it. Perhaps the old farmer was right. Katie finds that forgiveness is survival.
Comments from readers:
"Little Katie comes alive for me, right from the first page. I find myself hoping against all odds that she can reach her tenuous goal and solve the mysteries of her heritage. I want my teens to read it so they will learn to believe in themselves and get on with life." Tanya P.
"A touching story for all of us who want to be belong. When Katie reaches for a goal, I want to cheer, or maybe cry." Suzanne L.
"This novel has the compelling honesty of an intimate conversation. Knowing the hearts of her characters, showing them with compassion, humor, and illuminating generosity, Katie will find her way." Dennis S.