Go Away Home is the story of a young woman's quest for independence and the right to decide her own future. A family scandal closely followed by tragedy ties Liddie Treadway ever more tightly to the family farm she yearns to escape. When she is finally free of her old life, she seems for a moment to have it all - the opportunity for global travel, unlimited adventures, and new passions. But the reappearance of an old friend leads her to question her choices and her future. Set in pre-World War One Iowa, Go Away Home is the timeless story of the fragility of what seems secure and stable and the discover of what a woman's heart truly wants.
Why I wrote Go Away Home
The idea that became Go Away Home has been in my head since I learned as a child that my grandfather died of the Spanish Flu in 1918. Throughout my life, I’ve been intrigued by my connection to this major world event. Of course I never knew my grandfather and even though my grandmother lived until I was well into my 20s, I never asked her a single question about him or their lives together. And she was not the type to share.
So, this story is based on a few facts, but it’s entirely fiction. In a way, the book creates a life for the man I never knew and for the grandmother I only knew as a stern old woman.
I hope readers will be touched by the characters and the story. That would mean they felt the story was well told, which was my goal. I hope readers will empathize with the challenges the main character Liddie faces in making choices and perhaps go further to consider their own choices. Are we happy with our choices? What regrets do we have? Finally, I hope readers come away from the book knowing more about rural life in the early 20th century.
“Go Away Home is … a tale of choices, dreams realized and rejected, and how values evolve … gently compelling and highly believable.” –Midwest Book Review
“Excellent characters and an extremely realistic plot … Go Away Home is the perfect story of coming home.” –Readers’ Favorite
“… a heart-warming and heart-wrenching tale … a story that promises to fulfill what it is to be alive when one chooses the life one wants to live, despite the consequences” – Paulette Mahurin, author
“Go Away Home is a coming of age novel that is well-written, compelling, and endearing … a strong sense of place, excellent character development, and an engaging plot line.” – Kara Logsden, Iowa City Public Library
“Every life is a story, no matter how mundane it may appear on the surface, but it takes a writer like Carol Bodensteiner to draw a reader in and keep them turning the pages. Bodensteiner … writes characters with depth … she’s captured the era … with meticulous historical detail.“ – J. P. Lane, author
“… a poignant, romantic tale … Bodensteiner creates characters that tug at your heart strings.” – David Lawlor, author
Behind the Scenes
Research to write Go Away Home yielded fascinating facts about the early 20th century. For instance, Iowa had the (dubious) destination of being the only state to make it illegal to speak any language but English in public. The term “Buy American” was in use before World War One. We smile in photographs as a result of a Kodak marketing campaign; prior to that, people didn’t smile in photos for a variety of reasons: it was considered low class, it revealed poor oral hygiene, and it was difficult to maintain a smile for the time it took to expose a photo.
Carol Bodensteiner – Bio
Carol Bodensteiner is a writer who finds inspiration in the places, people, culture and history of the Midwest. After a successful career in public relations consulting, she turned to creative writing. She blogs about writing, her prairie, gardening, and whatever in life interests her at the moment. She published her memoir Growing Up Country in 2008. Go Away Home is her debut novel.
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