Artists & Authors: Today’s Featured Artist

featured-authorArtists and Authors who will be a part of our POP-UP HOLIDAY SHOP on December 3, 4, & 5 will be featured each day. Click on the logo to find out more about the event.

A Page-Turner of Good Old-Fashioned Storytelling

Lee Collin’s book, Too Much Left Unsaid, was published by The Write Place in May 2013. Retired Central College professor Lee wrote the first draft of the novel in the fall of 2009 after attending the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Over her career as a teacher and teacher of teachers, Lee enjoyed history, although she will tell you, “They were current events then.”

collinsToo Much Left Unsaid is a deftly crafted multi-generational novel set in the Midwest between 1917 and 1969, according to Sharelle Byars Moranville, author of The Hop. The novel unfolds the story of Mattie McEnroe Connor and her sister-in-law, Kathy Hummel Connors. Mattie’s husband’s brother surprised the whole family when, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he showed up at the train state of the small Ohio town the Connors call home, bringing Kathy as his new bride. When Josh left to fight in the war, Kathy—fiercely independent—and Mattie—deeply devoted to her family—had to try to trust and understand each other.

From the 1918 flu epidemic through four wars all the way through the turbulent sixties, these ordinary Midwestern women and their families confronted social and political change and overwhelming personal loss.

The novel was inspired by people in Collins’ own past, but Lee is quick to point out that it is a work of fiction, including the characters, organizations, and events. Although she used her husband’s mother’s journals, they scarcely revealed anything more than the weather, her menus, and trips to town. The rest is history, imagination, and creativity.

“Some of the historical events I remember clearly,” Lee said. “I recall how we celebrated and mourned at their triumphs and defeats. I imagine Mattie and Ron, Josh and Kathy, and the other people who stepped out of my head on to the page would have done what I said they did and felt what I claimed they were feeling.”

Too Much Left Unsaid is available at or by calling 641-628-8398.

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