One Thing of Beauty

by Loretta Bender



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 4/19/2006

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5x8
Page Count : 260
ISBN : 9781425901943

About the Book

A story of nineteen year old Eliza Meyers, her husband, Jacob, and their two young children migrating to an Iowa farm in 1858. Her dreams are shattered when their baby daughter dies of measles. Jacob is stricken with the disease leaving him physically and mentally disabled.

Arriving at the farm Jacob has homesteaded they find two unsavory characters have wintered in their home. Jacob’s friend, John Chardeau, a frightening and dangerous man, chases them away.

City bred, Eliza must summon the knowledge learned when Jacob spent long evenings explaining his modern farming methods to her. She fights nature’s wrath that damages her crops making her question her ability to complete her task. Her attraction to Chardeau, the gossip among the town’s women and a confrontation with an intruder further complicates her life.

Jacob’s health deteriorates. His death leaves Eliza alone with their son, Jamie, until a blizzard throws Eliza and a seriously wounded Chardeau together for the rest of the winter. By spring she realizes she is in love with him and accepts his marriage proposal.

At 23 Jamie inherits the wanderlust that plagued his father. Chardeau has been killed in the Civil War. Despite being left alone Eliza sends Jamie on his way. He settles in northern Iowa, falling in love with his employer’s daughter. His marriage is short lived when his wife dies giving birth to their daughter. Jamie raises Kathleen while working on his father-in-law’s farm. When she is thirteen, Jamie is killed by one of the farm’s prize horses.

When her aging grandparents cannot care for Kathleen, Eliza welcomes her granddaughter into her home. Eliza no longer looks for the “One Thing of Beauty” that gave her hope and courage through troubled times. She has found it in her memories and Erica.

About the Author

I was born 67 years ago on a farm south of Des Moines, Iowa, in the area in which Eliza lived. When I was five we moved to the house in which Jamie’s wife lived. A year later we moved to a farm east of Algona, Iowa.

My love for reading and writing goes back to the fifth grade. By the time I was a sophomore in high school I had written my first novel. I have it tucked away and maybe someday after extensive rewriting, I will publish it. I have had two short stories and a number of newspaper articles published.

I have worked full time as an insurance agent/customer service representative for 47 years, the same number of years I have been married. We have a daughter, son and four grandchildren of whom we are very proud.

For those 47 years I made the decision to put my family first, my job second and my writing third. Our children grew up and left the nest. At a time when I thought my life would slow down and I would finally be able to write, my husband became disabled and I found myself busier than ever.

As I get older and it looks as though there will be no leisure any time soon, I have decided it’s now or never. And so I offer this book and hope everyone who reads it will find it an enjoyable read.