April Smith to speak at the Brown Bag Lecture Series
Location: Main Library
The United States Congress in 1929 passed legislation to fund travel for mothers of the fallen soldiers of World War I to visit their sons’ graves in France. Over the next three years, 6,693 Gold Star Mothers made the trip. In this emotionally charged, brilliantly realized novel, April Smith breathes life into a unique moment in American history, imagining the experience of five of these women.
They are strangers at the start, but their lives will become inextricably intertwined, altered in indelible ways. These very different Gold Star Mothers travel to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery to say final good-byes to their sons and come together along the way to face the unexpected: a death, a scandal, and a secret revealed.
With expert storytelling, memorable characters, and beautiful prose, April Smith gives us a timeless story, by turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, set against a footnote of history––little known, yet unforgettable.
About the author
Here’s the down and dirty: grew up in the Bronx, went to college in Boston, graduate school in California, back to Cambridge to write a first failed novel and learn how the world works by writing ad copy, west to Los Angeles in 1976 for a career writing and producing TV, until the writer’s strike of 1988 when I wrote my first novel on spec, North of Montana. Two wonderful grown children and the best husband in the world, now of 34 years. Stable enough on the outside but take away swimming, writing, hiking, yakking with girlfriends, pet pooches, chocolate chip cookies (the gooey kind), British TV series and grapefruit Martinis — well, don’t
About the Series » Brown Bag Lecture Series
Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series features bi-weekly reading and question-and-answer sessions with authors from around the nation as well as those who hail from right here in Maine.
All Brown Bag Lectures are free to the public (unless specifically noted as a fundraiser). Because they usually take place over the lunch hour, guests are encouraged to bring their lunch; coffee provided by Coffee By Design. Special thanks to our Brown Bag Lecture Series coffee sponsor, Coffee by Design, and welcome to our new refreshment sponsor, Whole Foods. Books on sale at each lecture courtesy of Longfellow Books, who generously donates a portion of the proceeds to the Portland Public Library. Questions about our Brown Bag Lectures or to be added to our weekly calendar e-mail, please send us an e-mail.
Want to hear one from the past? Maine Humanities Council has come and recorded a few of our talks, listen here!