Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Julie - she's made a reader out of me!

Yours truly, standing in front of the door of the church in Weston Underwood, England, 1993. I'm pretty sure my maternal great-grandparents were married here.

I have never been what is known as a "reader," - unlike my kids. They must have gotten that love from their father. Oh, I read a bit, but as early as 4th grade, I remember having to do book reports and for two years in a row, I turned in a book report of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I had read it once and didn't care to read another book, so reported on it again in 5th grade. I don't know how I managed to get through school with this trait, but I did, and that is history.

In my adult life, I happened onto a book called Love Comes Softly, by Janette Oke. I liked it so much that when my sister-in-law, Donna, and I decided to organize a women's retreat for the ladies in our respective churches, I contacted Janette to see if she would be our guest speaker, and she agreed to do so. This was back in the early 80s. Since then, she and I have remained friends. Over the years, I read all 8 of the books in this series multiple times.

In 2001, I was fortunate to be hired at the publishing house for Janette (I used her for one of my references). This has brought me in touch with many very good authors, and thus, I have read more books, but perhaps only 3 or 4 a year - not nearly what most folks read. I have read every book written by Beverly Lewis, who is a dear, dear friend of mine, and have enjoyed them very much.

About 8 years ago, our pastor encouraged us to read through the Bible in a year. Our church even provided a daily schedule in order to accomplish this, and I made up my mind I would do it. I have done it each year since and must say I have enjoyed it a lot. It has become a part of my daily living - using different translations from year to year.

Late last fall, I decided I should read a book from one of our authors, Julie Klassen. Until recently, Julie worked in our office, and I would see her once a week or so. I knew she was talented, for she had written a couple of the skits presented at our annual company Christmas parties. I took her first book, The Lady of Milkweed Manor, and after a few pages of reading, I was hooked. You see, she writes about old England - in the 1800s, a time when my ancestors lived there. As I read her book, I could imagine my great-grandmother and great-grandfather in these stories. In fact, in 1993, when Hans and I traveled to England, we stopped in Weston Underwood, to see the church where this couple were married. While not positive we were at the same place, we think we were. Since reading Julie's first book, I have gone on to read The Apothecary's Daughter, and The Silent Governess. By the way, the red cape the model is wearing on The Silent Governess, belongs to me. Isn't that fun?! Last night I started reading her next book, The Girl in the Gatehouse. I'm quite sure I'm going to enjoy it.


Julie Klassen said...

Thanks, Donna. So glad to play a part in your becoming a reader! And I'm so happy you're enjoying my books. That means a lot to me. Love ya!

Pat said...

How neat it is to be friends with the author of these books. And then to have your cape on the cover is really astounding. I will have to read these being as you are enjoying them so much,.

MamaD4 said...

Interesting. I thought you met Jeanette through Bethany. I read her books many years ago as well and I loved them too, but it's been years since I've seen them. I have been seeing a lot more Bethany books at our local library lately!

Inaminute said...

Donna, you look like such a different person in that picture. I'm glad you're remembering her. Don't publish this (unless YOU want to), but I see a rather romantic and free-spirited woman in her outlook.