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AUTHOR: John W. Feist
DEATH. GRIEF. LOVE.
Urged to remarry just weeks after his wife’s sudden death, Frank Wilson begins corresponding with a bright, vivacious young schoolteacher, Irene Webb. They quickly fall in love on the page, illustrating thoughts on the deeper meaning of marriage and the importance of living a “noble life” with quotes from the Bible, Emerson, and Pope. But Frank’s debilitating bouts of grief mean that months pass between visits, leaving Irene to wonder if he will ever be ready to propose. When an ailing, despondent Frank tries to break off their courtship, Irene does not accept the news, but instead becomes determined to help him recover.
Diamond Mornings is based on the actual letters exchanged by Frank and Irene in 1896-97 in Kansas. The novel weaves a compelling drama of the agony of grief and the triumph of love. It is a testament to faith, devotion and traditional American values. The letters transcend personal doubts and misgivings to convey universal romantic ideals, which Frank and Irene explore with eloquence, excitement and hope. Such an art form seems lost in today’s breathless impatience of e-mails and text messaging.