By: Teresa H. Janssen
She Writes Press, 2023
As Josie Belle Gore, daughter of a Louisiana train engineer and Texas seamstress, journeys with her itinerant family through the deserts of the boom-and-bust American West and revolutionary Mexico, she learns that some things in life are constant: the preciousness of water and that her role in her family is to save it.
When unforeseeable events force the separation of her family, Josie begins an odyssey that takes her from New Mexico’s Jornada del Muerto to Bisbee, Tucson, Los Angeles, and finally post-WWI San Francisco—experiencing betrayal, pandemic, survivor’s guilt, as well as the compassion and generosity of friends and strangers.
Like a river meeting the sea, she has nowhere else to run and must make peace with the past and good on her promise to the family she loves. Inspired by family lore, this is a lyrical tale of loss, hope, and forgiveness set in the rugged beauty of the turn-of-the-century Southwest that, like Josie, is growing up in fits and starts.
About the Author
Teresa H. Janssen, a career educator, studied history and French at Gonzaga University and has an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Washington. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in a variety of literary journals. She was a finalist for Bellingham Review’s Annie Dillard Prize and won the Norman Mailer/NCTE Award in nonfiction. Her debut historical novel, The Ways of Water, integrating family lore and research, was inspired by her grandmother’s early life. She lives with her husband in Washington state where she writes, volunteers, and tends a small orchard.
To learn more about Teresa H. Janssen and her work, please see www.teresahjanssen.com