When Hard Truths Surface in Fiction
Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D.
When I first began to write Dogwood Plantation, almost a decade ago, I had been a psychologist for twenty-five years. Although I had to leave my trained vocation because of my disability due to Rheumatoid Arthritis, I found that some of the “sins of the fathers” that I’d seen over the years came to manifest themselves in my story. Although the main storyline has to do with Cornelia Gill and her childhood sweetheart, Carter Williams, there is a secondary plotline between her second cousin, Hayes Davis and Carter’s deceased sister-in-law’s sister, Mariah.
Mariah is a fairly self-centered woman who manipulates and tries to control others yet she also neglects the nephews supposedly in her care. Hayes is a devout man, ardent for the Lord and for his country, who sees the War of 1812 as something that could destroy liberty. Hayes doesn’t usually work at anything in the foreground—rather he’s there working out deals with mariners to assist in the war effort and he helps others without getting in their face about it. Mariah is intrigued by the wealthy horse farm owner. Her reality, some of which was brought on by childhood sexual abuse, has now erupted into an unmanageable situation. Hayes feels convicted that he must minister to Mariah, even as he is beginning to fall in love with her.
There are many behaviors we observe in life that aren’t what they seem to be. Victims of childhood sexual abuse, for instance, often end up sexually acting out and some end up involving others in sexual “misuse”—people who are near their same age.
I won’t do a “spoiler” as to exactly how Mariah’s background affects the ending of this story, but I will say this—even I, the author, am not exactly sure about some specifics. But in the story, like in real life, God knows and He works things out according to His purpose.
Giveaway: An autographed copy of my new release Dogwood Plantation. USA only—an unsigned copy can be won through Book Depository for those outside of the USA.
Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is a Christian fiction bestselling and award-winning author of over twenty books—tagline, “Hearts Overcoming Through Time”. Possessed with an overactive imagination, that wasn’t “cured” by twenty-five years as a psychologist, she loves bringing characters to life. Carrie enjoys American history, listening to audiobooks, walking the family’s adopted Kelpie, and visiting beautiful places surrounded by water.
Carrie’s novel, My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island, won the Maggie Award, and was a Romantic Times Top Pick. Her romance novella, The Steeplechase, was a finalist in the prestigious Holt Medallion Awards. Her short story, “The Quilting Contest”, was Historical Fiction Winner of Family Fiction’s The Story national contest. Her novella, The Substitute Bride was a Maggie Award finalist. All three of her Christy Lumber Camp books were long list finalists for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year and The Fruitcake Challenge was a Selah Award finalist.
When a deadly yellow fever outbreak draws Cornelia Gill back home, her new independent life must be abandoned. Injured veteran, Carter Williams, likewise must return to Dogwood Plantation when he suffers grievous family losses. Both become caretakers to younger family members. As the War of 1812 heats up, two wounded hearts begin to heal. But can they manage all that life has handed them?
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