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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical
  • Language:English
  • Series title:The Trees Remember
  • Series Number:2
  • Pages:264
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781667843513
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667843506

The Trees Endure

by Joyce L. Kieffer

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Overview
The Trees Endure is a historical novel about a young woman, Rebecca Wagner, who in 1901, after three tumultuous years as a student nurse at Johns Hopkins Training School for Nurses and a secret relationship with a doctor who stole her heart, returns to her family farm and the disappearance of virgin forests surrounding rural McAlisterville, Pennsylvania. However, everything she holds dear has changed—the hometown sweetheart she had promised to marry may have found someone new, and much of the nearby forests in the Shade Mountains have been stripped bare. What hasn't changed is her desire to use native plants and trees for healing as taught by her mentor, a mysterious Indian woman who has lived on the edge of the farm ever since Rebecca was born. Unwilling to succumb to her fears, Rebecca convinces the town doctor to hire her to care for hostile "wood hicks" who suffer horrific accidents and illnesses as they labor in the treacherous and primitive lumber camps. Will Rebecca choose between her hometown sweetheart and the promise of a simple life in the country, or the doctor she left behind in Baltimore and the life of privilege he pledges to provide? Will the secrets she is hiding, and the ones she is yet to uncover, threaten everything she has worked so hard for—especially her wish to be the healer she has always dreamed of being?
Description
In 1901, after three tumultuous years as a student nurse at Johns Hopkins Training School for Nurses and a relationship with a doctor who stole her heart, Rebecca Wagner returns to her family farm and the disappearance of virgin forests surrounding rural McAlisterville, Pennsylvania. However, everything she holds dear has changed. The hometown sweetheart she had promised to marry may have found someone new, and much of the forests in the Shade Mountains surrounding the farm have been stripped bare. Unwilling to succumb to her fears, she convinces the town doctor to hire her, and ingratiates herself into the hearts of people in the Juniata Valley. But it is her work in the dangerous and primitive lumber camps in the nearby mountains that test her skills and strength. Skills that require her to handle horrific accidents and illnesses that take away life and limb. Strength to travel by horseback through steep mountain terrain in oppressive heat and numbing cold, and stand up to hostile wood hicks who are clear-cutting the very mountains she loves. What hasn't changed is her desire to use native plants and trees for healing as taught by her mentor, a mysterious Indian woman who lives on the edge of the farm ever since Rebecca was born. Nor the harassment by a rogue lumbermill worker whose threats grow ever more serious. Ultimately, Rebecca must choose between her hometown sweetheart and the promise of a simple life in the country, or the doctor she left behind in Baltimore and the life of privilege he pledges to give her. However, the secrets she is hiding threaten to upend what she believes about herself, as well as everything she has worked so hard for—including her wish to be the healer she has always dreamed of being.
About the author
Biography – Joyce Kieffer Joyce Kieffer is the author of The Trees Inspire and The Trees Endure—the first two volumes in a trilogy of historical novels set in the turn-of-the-twentieth-century virgin forests of Juniata County, Pennsylvania. The series tells the story of the heroine's odyssey from her small family farm in the forest foothills, to the John's Hopkins Training School for Nurses, and back to her forest homeland and its wild and dangerous lumber camps. Along the way, she uncovers her life purpose . . . and a few intriguing secrets that change her life forever. Although the novel is set nearly a century ago, Joyce addresses issues relevant to today: environmental; racial; socioeconomic; and gender. Superimposed on these themes are the lush, beautiful forests and the flora and fauna that call them home, the rich cultural stories of life in rural Pennsylvania where farming is a way of life, and the Native American wisdom and respect for the plants, soil, and water we all share. Joyce is also the author of To Have . . . To Hold, a Parent's Guide to Childbirth and Early Parenting with nearly a million copies sold in seven editions between 1979 and 2001. A pioneering champion of women's health throughout her 55-year career, Joyce began as a nursing instructor and discovered a passion for advocating for a mother's autonomy during childbirth. Joyce established one of the first organized childbirth classes offered in Pennsylvania in the 1960s, going on to empower thousands of parents to achieve positive birth experiences. She followed her passion for health education and prevention of disease by developing several health education and resource centers for women and their families, until retiring from her career in women's health in 2001. She then began a parish nursing practice, serving her congregation for several years while also contributing to a team of philanthropists establishing a tuition-free school for inner-city boys. After retiring from her "second career" where she worked with a cadre of nurses providing health screenings for businesses and the public, she retired for the second time at age 75 and once again picked up her author's pen to take on her lifelong dream of writing an historic novel. Drawing on her career in women's health and inspired by the forests of Juniata County, Pennsylvania where she helped build a log cabin, Joyce envisioned a young woman's coming-of-age story. . . beginning her journey to become a healer set against the backdrop of the early days of the State's burgeoning lumber industry as thousands of acres of virgin timber fell to ever-wealthier lumber barons. Joyce lives with her husband in central Pennsylvania, her daughters and their families nearby—a short hour's drive away from the mountain cabin in the Shade Mountains that birthed the idea for this story of the power of courage, family and above all, truth.
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