Gina Kutchins - Jessie: A Novel
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Local author Gina Kutchins reads from her novel of the Great Depression
About Jessie: A Novel
In 1919, Jessie Glenn is evicted from her farm in southern Missouri after her husband dies in the Spanish flu epidemic.
To support her three young daughters, Jessie takes a job at a shoe factory where she commits a crime in an act of self defense.
Fearing imprisonment, she places her children in an orphanage and goes on the run.
Facing crushing poverty, Jessie sets out to reunite her family during the cruel aftermath of World War I and the Great Depression.
Richly detailed and written with deep sensitivity, Jessie spans time and distance in portraying the universal quest of mothers to protect those dearest to them against all odds.
This novel was written and rewritten many times in my mind over the years. The mostly fictional narrative that emerged became interwoven with family memories, anecdotes, and actual history. My first impressions about the world were formed as a child seated at the dinner table listening to heated exchanges about the exploitation of “the workers” and the importance of the labor union.
My elderly grandmother would chime in with captivating tales of her early hardscrabble life in rural Missouri. The passion for a sense of justice expressed by my family instilled in me an enduring fascination for the social history of early 20th-century America. The Jessie book cover photograph is of my mother and her sisters at the orphanage where they lived for many years. —Regina S. Kutchins
503 B St., Point Reyes Station, CA 94956