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Book details
  • SubGenre:Life Stages / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:250
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543964929

One Manchester Family

by Monica Joyal

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One Manchester Family is the fictional story of Meghan MacNamara's discovery of her family history. She returns to the state she grew up in and spends time preparing her family camp for resale. Among the many bits of family archives, the story of her own family unravels. It is a story of love, loss, mystery and survival. Even in small town America, families struggled as the nation did. The setting is on Pawtuckaway Lake, but the story includes local tales from Manchester. The reader will read actual diary entries and envision photos rediscovered. The MacNamara's story comes alive as Meghan discovers evidence from things saved by her mother and grandmother. Totally fictional, the story reflects how one family moves on despite the crisis of a nation.
Meghan is caught between the past and the present. Part of her lives in Arizona, part of her feels at ease in New Hampshire. When she returns to the lake of her childhood, she is alone. Both her parents are dead and she is widowed. But soon she does not feel alone. The community of Pawtuckaway Lake embraces her as they did Jack MacNamara, her father. She revisits much of what she left behind: work, love, places and old feelings. Does she continue to dig into her family story even if there seems to be pieces missing? As questions arrive concerning the unresolved disappearance of her grandfather, Wil MacNamara, Meghan must face some new truths. Those around her wonder if she had dug too deeply. Perhaps, some things should not be revealed. While Meghan unravels and cleans, her heart is also at a crossroad. She left someone back there on the lake years earlier. They are clearly still interested in her. And there is someone she never really noticed before. He too arrives on the scene. Will this time on the lake force Meghan to choose? As the story unfolds, Meghan enjoys the local community of Hampton Hills. She attends holiday festivities and plans Thanksgiving. She bakes for Halloween and puts out pumpkins. She looks forward to visits from her grandchildren. All the time learning about the past. The book moves between past and present. It reveals struggles and victories. As a community invites Meghan to become a part of their life, she is drawn back to a love she feels she left behind. Neighbors care and try to help. But she must follow her own heart. There is a bit of magic in the air and unforeseen forces. Past and present impact the present . The reader has to wonder if the past will win out. How will Meghan's search for the truth lead her to face some truths of her own?
About the author
Monica A. Joyal is a former high school and college instructor of history. She holds a master's degree in education. Her first book, One Pawtuckaway Summer, involved the return of Meghan MacNamara O'Reilly to a childhood haunt - her father's camp. Upon his death and the loss of her husband, Tom O'Reilly, Meghan returns to the granite state and spends a summer sorting and cleaning at the lake house with every intent to put it up for sale. For the author, the lake is full of memories of childhood adventures. She develops this story through the fictional tale of the MacNamara clan. As the summer unfolds, Meghan revisits her own past; a former beau, an unfinished career, and her family secrets. Book one ends with Meghan wondering if she wants to remain on Pawtuckaway Lake. In the second book, One Manchester Family, the reader learns much more about Meghan's parents and their life together before they married. She is surprised that her mother and grandmother had begun to unravel the demise if Wil MacNamara. Was he one of many men destroyed by the economic collapse of the 1930's ? Did he merely disappear like so many who lost jobs and fortunes and left their families, never to return? Meghan finds old journals, a mixture of photos and disjointed records, among postcards and incomplete albums. Sometimes, there is a common theme. But not always. The author utilizes local and national history as well a fictional events to tell the story of this Irish family as it moves through the thirties and forties. Readers who enjoy how history impacts the individual will follow Monica back to the lake and through the stories associated with the city of her youth. The characters themselves , although imaginary, could have lived through the flood, hurricane and depression Manchester suffered. They might have ridden the roller coaster at the nearby park, or fished at the local reservoir. Monica enjoys history and hopes her books draw the reader into the losses and victories as they affected actual lives. Monica hopes to include a third book and draw to a conclusion some of the unresolved issues Meghan brings with her to her seasons on the lake. The author lives in Manchester, with her husband, Wayne Slaughter, and their English Springer Spaniel, Rosie. She is a lifelong resident of New Hampshire and continues to enjoy time on Pawtuckaway Lake.
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