The Teague Chronicle – Sunday’s Internet Edition
Fairfield businesswoman and author Eleanor Clark has some exciting news for readers who enjoyed last fall’s release of her novel Eleanor Jo: A Christmas to Remember. The second and third installments of her seven volume work, The Eleanor Series, are now in print and widely available in hardback edition. The new releases are actually the first two books of the series–the decision was made last fall to release the final installment of the series first, in order that its Christmas theme might coincide with the approaching holiday season.
The early release of book seven, however, does nothing to detract from the flow of one story into the next, as each story is a marvelous work unto itself, and the series comes together as a whole regardless of the order in which the individual stories are read.
Book one, Mary Elizabeth: Welcome to America!, as well as book two, Victoria Grace: Courageous Patriot, continue to emphasize the character building themes of patriotism, faith, and family upon which the entire series is constructed. And just like the rest of the volumes in The Eleanor Series, the stories unfold along and within historically accurate settings–in the case of these two novels, the journey to the New World from Europe, which represented the hopes and dreams of countless immigrants for a better life in a land of opportunity, and the outbreak of the American Revolution, a time of great dreams and horrible fears in the days when the outcome of that effort was far from certain.
The fictional stories are based on the real life experiences of Mrs. Clark’s family, going back some 400 years. The author’s reverence for her family legacy shines through in all of the stories, but is perhaps best reflected in each novel’s prologue. As each story begins, we are introduced to a young girl in the present day who, while preoccupied with problems of her own, finds herself powerfully drawn into an incredible tale, even if somewhat reluctantly at first, told by her “Grand Doll,” her wise and affectionately named grandmother. The specific trials and triumphs of the family’s ancestors as related in Grand Doll’s stories are aptly chosen to empower the young girls to overcome the very difficulties presently weighing on their young minds and spirits.
Mary Elizabeth: Welcome to America! examines the challenges in the life of a young girl who, in 1635, is uprooted from the only life she has known, and is set out from Europe across the Atlantic. Her experiences aboard ship and in this strange and unfamiliar New World instill within her the value of perseverance in the face of difficulties, and the faith upon which she must rely for that perseverance.
Book two, Victoria Grace: Courageous Patriot, takes the reader back to the dawn of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of a young girl, whose desire to learn about medicine brings her face to face with the awful reality of war, as she is called upon to nurse the wounded. As young Victoria bears witness to the true cost of freedom, she knows she must somehow find the courage to see herself through such a frightening time.
The character themes are different for each of Grand Doll’s stories, always appropriate to the immediate needs of her granddaughters, but the source of their strength is always the same. The challenges facing each girl may differ from the others, but like the branches of a tree, they all lead back to the same roots: Faith, and family.
Did you ever find yourself feeling kind of sad after finishing a great novel, simply because the joy of reading it had come to and end? If so, then you will happily discover one of the remarkable aspects of The Eleanor Series is that when the story is finished, the lesson is just getting started.
An educator as much as an author, Mrs. Clark has included at the end of each story a number of exercises and activities intended to bring the novel’s theme to life for the youngster. Historical trivia, questions to ponder, and lots of activities, including, for example, elaborate instructions for the hosting of a tea party–complete with some delicious sounding recipes!–are among the variety of suggestions by which the reader can bring the message out of the pages and into his or her experience.
The stories are written for the benefit of our children, especially young girls, but the experience of The Eleanor Series is tailor made, in every respect, for the whole family. Parents and grandparents will benefit every bit as much from the reading of these stories to/with their little ones as the children themselves. And the lessons, recipes, and suggested activities included at the end of each book are valuable for any reader, regardless of age.
“As I looked back over my life and the history of my family,” says Mrs. Clark, “I saw a great opportunity to put together a series of books that would be entertaining and fun, teach history, and focus on American history and its Christian heritage, as well as the faith of my family. Leaving a legacy for my children and grandchildren was very important to me. As a member of our family began to research our genealogy, I got excited about the possibilities of fictionalizing our own stories to accomplish this.” The finished product is unquestionably a gem, and would make a timeless gift for any young girl.
Following publication of the remaining four installments in the series, the seven volume work will be available in a box set. Mrs. Clark predicts the entire series will be available by late August of this year.
The matriarch of a family that includes five children, seventeen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, Mrs. Clark has lived in Fairfield since 1996, along with Lee, her husband of over 50 years.
Her novels Mary Elizabeth: Welcome to America!, and Victoria Grace: Courageous Patriot, are available in hardback edition for $14.99, and may be purchased at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Christian bookstores, or on her website: www.eleanorseries.com.
Currently scheduled book signings for the latest two releases in The Eleanor Series are set for June 2nd at Barnes & Noble in Frisco, Tx., and June 16th at Barnes & Noble in The Woodlands. Notice of future dates and locations will be posted in The Chronicle.
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