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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Coming of Age
  • Language:English
  • Pages:310
  • eBook ISBN:9780991706105

Conversations with Amelia

by Kathleen Schmitt

Book Image Not Available
Overview
1951. Hannah Heywood, a troubled twelve-year-old, journeys toward health through the support of an imaginary friendship with pilot Amelia Earhart. Hannah's journey with Amelia occurs in the context of a family bubbling with unresolved conflict. In particular her Uncle Andrew, former P-51 fighter squadron commander with two silver stars, now turned Presbyterian minister, full of guilt about the dropping of the atom bomb on Japan, is working to convert his congregation in Spyder Hill, Texas, to pacifism. Throughout, Hannah is pursuing the mystery of the lost BJ Nealson, a girl her own age, who disappeared from the town only months before Hannah's arrival. She does not realize the killer is watching her as she moves closer and closer to the truth about BJ's fate.
Description
1951. More than anything twelve-year-old Hannah Heywood wants to attend a “normal” school. She grabs the opportunity of her family's move to Spyder Hill, Texas, to take control of her life. Enrolling herself in the local junior high school, she gets on the swim team and begins to teach herself the basic arithmetic she failed to learn back in Virginia at what she calls a “special school for misfits”. Informed by her Uncle Andrew, former P-51 fighter squadron commander with two silver stars, Hannah “meets” the woman pilot Amelia Earhart who becomes her best friend and confidante. Through imaginary conversations and adventures with Amelia, Hannah develops the ability to trust and to learn common sense. Hannah's journey with Amelia occurs in the context of a family that is bubbling with unresolved conflict. Uncle Andrew, marked by the horrors of the dropping of the atom bomb on Japan and now turned Presbyterian minister, is full of zeal to urge pacifism on his reluctant congregation. When his former lover Yosano of Occupied Japan dies of leukemia from radiation exposure, his zeal turns to obsession. Hannah's mother struggles with the aftermath of her husband going missing in action in the recent war. Hannah's sister, Cynthia, jerked out of the senior year of a private high school and thrown into the small public school in Spyder Hill, has to face all the insecurities and stress of making a new place for herself. All the while Hannah is pursuing the mystery of the lost B.J. Nealson, a girl Hannah's own age who disappeared from Spyder Hill only months before Hannah's arrival. Everyone believes the alleged Nazi Gunther Van Heusen is the culprit, but conclusive evidence has not been found. Hannah swims through the swirl of events and emotions, oblivious that BJ's real killer is watching her closely as she moves nearer and nearer the truth about the girl's disappearance.
About the author
Kathleen Schmitt grew up in 1950s Texas and writes fiction, poetry and articles. She has published three books of Christian feminist prayers (Crossroads, New York). Conversations with Amelia is her first published novel.
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