Becky was an "undercover" newspaper column writer, complete with an alias, Aunt Nell. The story begins with Becky receiving a series of mysterious e-mails from a man using the email handle of “Old,” whose real identity she is desperate to uncover. Even though the small town of Coleridge, Nebraska had the typical grapevine known to all small towns, the little tidbits of gossip had not yet revealed who Mr. Old was.
The plot features a newly widowed veterinarian with a young son, an abused girl and baby, a wealthy philanthropist, a beautiful single restaurant owner and Miss Anna, the town's oldest citizen. All these characters uniquely add to the community spirit that intertwines in the story.
Coleridge was a town steeped in history where everybody knew everybody and even knew their problems. However, there seemed to be a special quality in the hearts of the residents that made everybody who visited want to stay and become a part of the small-town-USA spirit so clearly evident in this picturesque heartland community.
I hope you will love, sympathize and celebrate with the characters in this “happy book,” which will leave you wishing you lived in a community like Coleridge. You won't forget this enchanting story or its community spirit.
Peg Tuomisto understands the hearts and minds of Nebraskans and captures the flavor of the Heartland in her wonderfully diverse works for readers of all ages.
Nebraska Life Magazine
There is nothing more comforting than having our own cherished memories delineated and embellished by another, whose recounting of some of those halcyon days pulls our own out of the fading shadows of oblivion into the bright spotlight of technicolor images evoked by a talented author. Such is the case here, with the adept memory of Peg Tuomisto recalling and inventing a tale of a small town coffee shop and its regular customers and the influence of email correspondence on everyone. As the reader becomes more and more involved with the characters in the book, they become much more than "characters." They are our families, our old friends and acquaintances as we prefer to remember them, accurately portrayed or not. This is a book you will not want to give away, but will loan to carefully screened friends, people who will enjoy the attention to detail and the loving nuances between these dear people as they move through a period in their lives taking place in the setting of the small town of our memory.
Even if you grew up in a big city, this nucleus of mutually nourishing people will resonate with your heart. And will refresh your memories of the "good times" back when life wasn't so complicated or so full of potential dangers as it is today. You won't forget this one.
From the Author
For 88 years, I have been proud to call Nebraska my home; my heritage. Focusing in even more; I have been proud to say Coleridge was my home town. My parents were hard-working, honest, caring people who taught us to be independent, and to do the best we could, no matter what the job before us.
In 1946 I brought my new husband to Coleridge and he fell in love with their friendliness and concern for others. Our daughter was a second grader when we left northeast Nebraska so I could teach in the Omaha Public Schools.
It was pure therapy to spin this little fiction about Coleridge. I smiled all the way through it. If luck abides with me in my aging, there will be a sequel with more about the characters I have introduced. Now, if the brain still works after that, we will make a trilogy of it all----even I want to know what happens to all my fictional friends there. They have become memorable to me, as they will to you.
Coleridge, Nebraska is a real town in northeast Nebraska, geographically close to Yankton, South Dakota and Sioux City, Iowa. It is an unremarkable farming community with hardy, community-cherishing people who love their life, their families and The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, in that order. The characters I create live only in my memory: blood-kin, corn-raising neighbors and community residents I knew back when I was growing up on the rolling plains of the central mid-western United States.
This fascinating fiction gives a heart-warming cameo of what I cherish about small-town American life. I like to think the characters permit me to tell their stories with my own insight and shadows, weaving fact into fiction as their lives flow out of my imagination, blended with my nostalgic recollection of the real characters I was privileged to know from my childhood. Their influence helped shape my life.
The Coleridge Blade, the local newspaper, is still published weekly and the Old Rasmussen Place was a landmark known to me as I grew up in the Coleridge community. I hope you enjoy a stroll down Memory Lane with me and experience a renaissance of the spirit of Coleridge, an American community.