FEBRUARY 14, 2017 PROGRAM:
On April 8, Eleanor’s Wars won a NATIONAL book award, the Independent Book Publishers Association’s 2016 Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal Award for BEST NEW VOICE IN FICTION.
In Eleanor’s Wars, Ames Sheldon writes about a heroic woman and the impact of the hidden wounds of war. It’s 1942 and the globe is aflame again. Eleanor Sutton, matriarch of a prosperous New Jersey family, struggles to fight the war on the home front. But then long-buried memories rooted in Eleanor’s service in the Great War come to light. These decades-old secrets threaten her marriage to George—and bring his own carefully guarded secrets to the surface.
The narrative alternates between Eleanor and her son Nat, an adolescent trying to find his way at boarding school at Phillips Academy. An aspiring musician who plays in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, Nat feuds with his father over going to music school.
In addition, Eleanor’s Wars touches on forbidden issues lurking under cover of daily life in the 1940s, including the plight of refugees, bullying in school, homophobia, sexism, and PTSD.
About Ames Sheldon
At the age of nine, when I realized I wanted to be a writer, I wrote my first short story about a chatty bee and a friendly horse. Many stories and poems later, I helped write and edit the ground-breaking Women’s History Sources: A Guide to Archives and Manuscript Collections in the United States, a monumental reference book that played a significant role in launching the field of women’s history.
Women’s History Sources also inspired my first novel “New Women” about a suffrage cartoon artist named Kate who founds the first iteration of Planned Parenthood in Massachusetts in 1916 and her great-great niece, a graduate student in women’s history, who discovers Kate’s diaries in the process of seeking a topic for her dissertation.