Spanning a century and three continents, Even in Darkness tells the story of Kläre Kohler, whose early years as a dutiful daughter of a prosperous German-Jewish family hardly anticipate the often-harrowing life she faces as an adult—a saga of family, a lover, two world wars, a concentration camps and the unconventional life she builds in post-war Germany. As the world changes around her, Kläre makes boundary-crossing choices in order to protect the people she loves—and to save herself.
Based on a true story, Even in Darkness highlights the intimate experience of Kläre’s reinvention as she faces the destruction of life as she knew it, and traces her path beyond survival to wisdom, meaning, and—most unexpectedly—love.
Barbara Stark-Nemon learned a fascination with the magic of language from her storytelling grandfather. An undergraduate degree in English literature and art history and a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Michigan led her to a career as a teacher and speech-language therapist who specialized in child language disorder and deafness. Today, Stark-Nemon writes novels and family histories while gardening, cycling, and creating fiber art in Ann Arbor and Northport, Michigan.
After Stella’s death, Abby moves to Stella’s house in rural Vermont and struggles to connect with Olivia, who immediately begins to engage in disturbing behavior—starting with ditching her old group of friends for a crowd of dubious characters.
As the fog of grief lifts, Abby reconnects with old friends, enlists the aid of Olivia’s school guidance counselor, and partners with Betsy, another single mom, in an effort to keep tabs on the headstrong teenager she’s suddenly found herself responsible for—but despite her best efforts, she is unable to keep Olivia from self-destruction.
As Abby’s journey unfolds, she grapples with raising a grieving teenager, realizes she didn’t know Stella as well as she thought, falls in love—twice—and discovers just how far she will go to save the most precious thing in her life.
Tammy Flanders Hetrick has published short stories in Your Teen Magazine, Blue Ocean Institute’s Sea Stories, and Route 7 Literary Journal. In 2009 she was recognized with the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition’s Pioneering Woman Award for coaching and mentoring women in the workplace. Hetrick lives in Vermont with her husband of thirty years, their two cats, and a beagle/miniature bull mix.
In 1967, when Jo Ivester was ten years old, her father transplanted his young family from a suburb of Boston to a small town in the heart of the Mississippi cotton fields, where he became the medical director of a clinic that served the poor population for miles around. But ultimately it was not Ivester’s father but her mother—a stay-at-home mother of three who became a high school English teacher when the family moved to the South—who made the most enduring mark on the town.
In The Outskirts of Hope, Ivester uses journals left by her mother, as well as writings of her own, to paint a vivid, moving, and inspiring portrait of her family’s experiences living and working in an all-black town during the heights of the civil rights movement.
Jo Ivester spent two years of her childhood living in a trailer in Mound Bayou, where she was the only white student at her junior high. She finished high school in Florida before attending Reed, MIT, and Stanford in preparation for a career in transportation and manufacturing. Following the birth of her fourth child, she became a teacher. She and her husband teach each January at MIT and travel extensively, splitting their time between Texas, Colorado, and Singapore.
Two weeks before his college graduation, Kelley Clink’s younger brother Matt hanged himself. Though he’d been diagnosed as bipolar as a teenager and had attempted suicide once before, the news came as a shock—and it sent Kelley into a spiral of grief and guilt.
After her Matt’s death, a chasm opened for Kelley between the brother she’d known and the brother she’d buried. She kept telling herself she couldn’t understand why he’d done it—but the truth was, she could. Several years before he’d been diagnosed with bipolar, she’d been diagnosed with depression. Several years before he first attempted suicide by overdose, she had attempted suicide by overdose. She’d blazed the trail he’d followed. And if he couldn’t make it . . . what hope was there for her?
A Different Kind of Same traces Kelley’s journey through grief, her investigation into what role her own depression played in her brother’s death, and, ultimately, her path toward acceptance, forgiveness, resilience, and love.
Kelley Clink is a full-time writer with degrees in literature from the University of Alabama and DePaul University. Her work has appeared in magazines and literary journals including Under the Sun, South Loop Review, Gettysburg Review, Colorado Review, and Shambhala Sun. She lives in Chicago with her husband.