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Ann Weisgarber Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Personal History of Rachel DuPree (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Promise (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Glovemaker (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ann Weisgarber is a bestselling historical fiction author from Dayton Ohio. She was brought up in the suburb of Kettering and went to the Wright State University from where she graduated with a bachelors in Arts and Social Work. She would later attend the University of Houston and graduate with a Masters of Arts in Sociology. Weisgarber then went on to work as a social worker in nursing home and psychiatric facilities in Texas. During this time, she was contracted as a professor at the Wharton County Junior College in Texas as a sociology professor. While she has spent much of her life living and working in Texas, she has also lived in Des Moines Iowa and Cambridge Massachusetts. She currently lives with her husband Rob in Galveston Texas. When she is not writing her novels she loves to attend Astros baseball games and visit America’s national parks alongside her husband.

Ann has always been fascinated by history and as a child, she read Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden” and “Little House on the Prairie” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder among several other historical fiction. The novels took her away from her world as the time periods felt exotic. In addition, her family would take vacations to historic sites such as Kitty Hawk where the Wright brothers flew their first plane, the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Virginia’s Williamsburg. The trips did breathe life into dates and facts and she still takes many visits to such sites with her husband to this day. While it does seem like it was her destiny to write historical fiction she never knew she was writing historical fiction until she was told by other people. The label historical fiction author stuck when she wrote her second novel about one of the biggest storms in Galveston History in 2014. Weisgarber thought about setting a novel in the 1940s but thought it was too contemporary as she is more interested in stories set in a time when telephones were not ubiquitous. Ann believes that slow communication helps in building the tension in a story, which she thinks is necessary for any fictional work.

As a professor and social worker, Weisgarber learned to be receptive to what was said and what was not. Her background in sociology pushed her to think about her characters as influenced by the time in which they lived. She has said that people do not live in a vacuum and hence her characters are influenced by the music, literature and popular culture of their time. For instance, Rachel and her husband Isaac in her debut novel are influenced by current headlines as well as events in the past. Ann also loves to write about prejudice and themes of social class though she has said that writing about such themes can be nerve-wracking. It is never comfortable to know that a white woman would call a full-grown man “boy” just because of his skin color. She also has to write about the prejudices against Native Americans right up to the early 20th century which she has said is not comfortable.

Ann Weisgarber wrote her debut novel “The Personal History of Rachel DuPree” in 2010. The novel was inspired by a photograph of a woman sitting by herself in the middle of nowhere. The woman was African American in a Wild West setting and Ann did not like that her name and story had been lost to time. It was then that she decided to write a story about Rachel that would evolve into her bestselling debut that won the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction and the Stephen Turner Award for New Fiction. Her second novel was written when she was living in Galveston and writing for “The Islander.” She was charged with writing articles about people with unusual jobs and was lucky to interview a brother and sister in town that had a fascinating story about their parents’ early life in the town. She decided to research more about Galveston, and read about the massive hurricane that had killed more than 6000 people. She also read about the fishermen, the dairy farmers and ranchers that had been forgotten which she then condensed into “The Promise,” her second novel. “The Glovemaker” was born from a vacation she took to the Capitol Reef National Park in Utah and an apple. She was fascinated by the people that had decided to live in such a harsh and isolated land. Her research led her to one settler that owned 20 acres who did not have children and had her husband mysteriously go missing from public records. The woman would inspire the lead character in the Glovemaker.

Ann Weisgarber’s “The Personal History of Rachel DuPree” is an award-winning novel about life on the wild plains as seen through the eyes of a hired help named Rachel. She works at a Chicago boarding house and is in love with the owner’s son named Isaac. He tells her that he is going to marry her if she gives up her rights to the 160 acres of land due to her to him. Together they now take on life in the beautiful yet foreboding prairies of South Dakota. Fourteen years later, the land is caught in the grip of a severe drought and their supplies are running low and their livestock cannot find enough water. Rachel is pregnant and they are struggling to keep the family afloat. She wants to provide all her children with the life they should have but she knows that Isaac is not a man that will ever leave his ranch. He is a proud man that sees the land as a measure of parity with white people. There are not many black families in the prairies of the West and she understands Isaac, even as she wants the best for her children. Opening the window into the little known history of Wild West African Americans, Ann showcases the proud in the spirit of building America that African Americans stood for just like their white counterparts.

“The Promise” the second novel by Ann Weisgarber is set in 1900 America, where a terrible scandal has forced Catherine Wainwright to flee from her hometown of Dayton. She is destitute and heartbroken and decides to write to Oscar Williams, the recently widowed man who had been her admirer since childhood. She is desperate and agrees to marry the man and go and live with him on Galveston Island. But when she arrives at his farm in Texas, she discovers that nothing could have prepared her for what she finds. Oscar lives on a sweltering remote island with his son Andre who is still grieving for his deceased mother. He tries his best to make his new wife comfortable but they have a lot of secrets from the past that still causes a lot of uneasiness between them. Meanwhile, Catherine’s arrival at the farm has been a great shock to Oscar housekeeper Nan Ogden, who is still coming to terms with the transition. She had promised Oscar’s wife that she would personally take care of her son but what nobody knows is that she also has feelings for Oscar that she has been struggling with for years. When the storm of the century comes along, the family will be put through one of the biggest tests of their lives.

Ann Weisgarber “The Glovemaker” is set in the inhospitable prairies of the Utah Territory in the 19th century. Deborah Taylor is a thirty-seven-year-old woman married to wheelwright Samuel who travels a lot. Her husband is weeks overdue and since it is winter, she is worried about his safety. She lives in a small town of Mormon families named Junction, where she makes work gloves and tends orchards to supplement her husband’s income. Living on the floor of a canyon, they are separated from the outside world which the Mormons have always regarded with deep suspicion. When a stranger running from the Federal Marshall comes to her asking for refuge she takes him in not knowing the avalanche of events she set in motion. The fugitive is a devout Mormon who has been found guilty of polygamy and is now deemed a common felon. While Deborah does not subscribe to polygamy, she thinks the government is unfairly prosecuting believers for their strongly held beliefs. But things are not always what they seem and things get more complicated when the Marshall gets injured. Deborah and Nel Anderson her husband’s friend who comes to her aid now need to make life and death decisions that may go against their humanity and faith.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ann Weisgarber

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