Born at the turn of the twentieth century in Glen Arbor, near the dunes of Northern Michigan, young Belle is the first child of a gruff stove works boss and a crippled mother who weaned Belle on the verse of Emily Dickenson. When a natural disaster results in her mother’s death and nearly takes the life of her younger brother Pip, Belle creates a fierce, almost ecstatic farewell song. Thus begins her journey to compose a perfect Goodbye to Mama.
At 21, Belle ventures south to Ann Arbor for university, with teenaged Pip in tow. There, she befriends Robert Frost, Ted Roethke and Wystan Auden and finds that her poetry stands alongside theirs, and even with that of her hero, Dickinson. Her lyrics capture the sounds, sights, and rhythms of the changing seasons in the northern forests, amidst the rolling dunes by the shores of the Great Lake.
Despite the peace she finds, Belle also struggles in both homes. Up north, she battles her father who thinks a woman can’t run the family business; and clashes against developers who would scar the natural landscape. In Ann Arbor, she challenges the status quo of academic pedants and chauvinists.
Belle’s narrative brings these two places to life in their historic context: a growing Midwestern town driven by a public university, striving for greatness; and a rural peninsula seeking prosperity while preserving its natural heritage. Through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Post-War Boom, Belle’s story is hard to put down. Her voice and songs will be even harder to forget.
“The Belle of Two Arbors is a beguiling story about a talented woman from the back of beyond who dares to establish her own identity. Capturing the upper reaches of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Dimond creates a new American fable that, like the great novels of Willa Cather, both lacerates and heals: An ingenious feat of fictional biography.” –Theodore Rosengarten, National Book Award All God’s Children: The Life of Nate Shaw and MacArthur Fellow
“Paul Dimond’s Belle of Two Arbors is historical fiction at its most informative and engaging. Belle is poet, protectress, matriarch and muse, whether advocating for a more inclusive University in Ann Arbor or promoting the preservation of America’s premier national lakeshore in Glen Arbor. Fans of the poets Frost, Roethke, Auden and Dickinson are in for a treat: Belle weaves their histories in Michigan and the legacies of Dickinson and Frost in Amherst expertly with the fictional characters. A treasure of a read!” –Barbara Stark-Nemon, author of award-winning historical novel, Even in Darkness
“Dimond imagines the intertwined lives of literary giants in a saga as evocative as Faulkner, with plot lines as cracking as Hemingway’s short stories in Michigan’s northern woods. Belle’s bravery and artistic consciousness are an inspiration.” –John Dempsey, Chair Michigan Historical Commission and co-author Michigan Notable Book Award Ink Trails: Michigan’s Famous and Forgotten Authors
“In the company of Paul Dimond’s extraordinary Belle, we witness the turbulence of a rapidly changing America in the first half of the 20th century. In her roles as poet, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and conservation leader, Belle interacts with a well-realized cast of characters, both imagined and real, most notably the poet Robert Frost. In this full and searching ‘portrait of a lady,’ Dimond renders the opportunities and obstacles that shape Belle’s story in such a way as to remind us that her world is also ours in the making.” –Donald Sheehy, Ed. The Letters of Robert Frost. Vols. 1–2
About the Author:
Since birth Paul Dimond has shared his time between Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, and Glen Arbor amidst Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan.
Prior to researching and writing The Belle of Two Arbors, Paul Dimond served as the Director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, tried several major race case that divided the U.S. Supreme Court and served as the Special Assistant to President Clinton for Economic Policy. He has also practiced law, chaired a national real estate firm and continues to spend his time between the two Arbors. He is an alumni of Amherst College and the University of Michigan Law School. Visit his Website.
Add to GoodReads:
Available on Amazon.
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June 1: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
June 2: Teddy Rose Book Reviews (Guest Post & Giveaway)
June 6: 100 Pages A Day Stephanie’s Book Reviews (Review)
June 8: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)
June 13: A Literary Vacation (Book Spotlight)
June 21: Black Sheep Reader (Review)
June 22: Readaholic Zone (Review)
June 26: Diary of an Eccentric (Review)
July 23: CelticLady’s Reviews (Book Spotlight)
Aug. 28: Svetlana’s Reads and View (Review)
TBD: Booklove (Review)
TBD: CelticLady’s Reviews (Review)
Follow the tour with the hashtag #BelleTwoArbors
Hello everyone, we’ve got a new tour filling up for July 29-Aug. 31, 2016: A Moment Forever by Cat Gardiner, published by Vanity & Pride Press in May.
In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950.
Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream to find her great-uncle and the woman he once loved. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a man whose family is closely related to the secrets, she uncovers the carefully hidden events of her great-uncle’s and others’ lives – and will ultimately change her own with their discovery.
This story of undying love, born amidst the darkest era in modern history, unfolded on the breathtaking Gold Coast of Long Island in 1942. A Jewish, Army Air Forces pilot and an enchanting society debutante—young lovers—deception—and a moment in time that lasted forever.
A Moment Forever is an evocative journey that will resonate with you long after you close the book. Romance, heartache, and the power of love, atonement, and forgiveness transform lives long after the horrors and scars of the Second World War have ended.
Here’s what others are saying:
“This novel reads like one of the blockbuster sagas of the 1980s. It’s full of beautiful wealthy people and packed with emotion of every kind. The mysteries and secrets keep you guessing throughout even though you get little hints along the way to start piecing it together yourself. A huge amount of research, very obviously, went into this novel. I learned a lot about WW2 and the Jewish side of it. The writing was lovely and atmospheric. At times I forgot I was reading fiction.” –Bookworm, Amazon Reviewer
“Cat Gardiner has a special way with words and detail. She takes her research about a subject seriously and immerses herself in the world of her story. There is nothing fluffy about this love story. It’s for the strong of heart.” –Elicia, Goodreads Reviewer
“A Moment Forever is surely one of my most unforgettable reads. 5 stars isn’t enough to show how much I love this book.” – Of Pens & Paper, Nissa, Goodreads Review
Add to GoodReads:
Available on Amazon.
About the Author:
Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation. A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.
She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend U.S.O dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™. Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.
She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.
For more on her book, visit A Moment Forever.
Aug. 3: True Book Addict (Guest Post & Giveaway)
Aug. 9: So Little Time… (Guest Post & Giveaway)
Aug. 11: Impressions in Ink (Review)
Aug. 16: The Calico Critic (Guest Post & Giveaway)
Aug. 25: Margie’s Must Reads (Review)
Aug. 29: Jorie Loves a Story (Interview)
Aug. 30: Celticlady’s Book Reviews (Book Spotlight)
Aug. 31: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #AMF