Hold Me One Last Time
Lois Jean Thomas, author
This family saga, spanning the years from 1907 to 1976, is set in rural southern Indiana. Young Bertha Snider becomes enamored with her neighbor Frank Kelly, who marries her only because he wants a strong wife to help him run the family farm. Their loveless union produces one child, Katherine, whose precocious brilliance enthralls Bertha. While Bertha struggles to adapt to changes in the world around her, her daughter steps out of her sheltered life to pursue education and career. Katherine returns to her family home when she is struck by an untimely illness, and Bertha provides tender care in her daughter’s last days. Bertha is widowed a dozen years later. Over the next few decades, she gradually withdraws from the outer world and lives with the ghostly memories of her home’s previous inhabitants.