Those Wonderful Women of St. Joan of Arc (WWSJA) have orchestrated another fabulous event! On Saturday, November 9th, Hospitality Hall was the site of an engaging presentation by Faith Sullivan, the author of The Cape Ann.
Hospitality Hall was transformed by the WWSJA volunteer committee whose attention to detail was extraordinary: there was a picture of a RR depot on the attendee name tags; baptism gowns were artistically arranged on the walls; and Mary statues from various cultures placed around the hall. Attendees enjoyed a light breakfast and conversation before the program.
Faith Sullivan chose a small Minnesota town at the end of the Depression as the setting for The Cape Ann. The Erhardt family lives in the town's RR depot. Readers are quickly taken by Lark Erhardt, the novel's precocious six-year-old narrator. She is in the midst of preparing for her first confession, first communion and passage from childhood with endless questions about faith, hope and love. Sullivan's writing is entertaining as Lark itemizes her sins in her confession notebook in one section and poignant in another when Lark's father punishes her nail-biting.
Sullivan read selected excerpts from The Cape Ann and explained that she initially found herself teary-eyed at the completion of a novel - sad that her characters were no longer part of her daily life. The author has come to view her characters as moving away so their paths may cross again. In addition to her writing career, Sullivan is a doula to other writers. She taught a writing class 16 years ago through the Minnesota Women's Press and has continued working with female writers as they "birth" their works.
The WWSJA event bookmark followed Sullivan's lead in questioning: How does Catholicism shape your worldview? It is a question many ask through their life. Faith Sullivan's The Cape Ann provides one person's perspective and a delightful read.
Watch for future WWSJA events in the new year. Consider attending and/or volunteering.