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We Talked About Sorrow

I stand between Kathy Herr, left, and Susan McCarty. These friends had lost children recently and were among the first people to purchase Final Rounds.

At the 2019 Potato Days in Barnesville, Minnesota, I rolled out my novel, Final Rounds: On Love, Loss, Life, and Lefse, about how a 12-year-old girl deals with the loss of her lefse-making grandfather. The novel was welcomed into the market very well, which was relieving.

The second day of the festival, two long-time friends were attracted to my street exhibit and to Final Rounds. Kathy Herr of Barnesville, Minnesota, and Susan McCarty, of Franklinville, New Jersey, (shown above) said they each had suffered the tragic loss of a son, and they were curious about why I wrote a novel about grief after years of writing non-fiction books about lefse and lutefisk.

I answered that Final Rounds is a fictional projection of what could happen when I die. How might my 12-year-old granddaughter handle it? I taught her to make lefse, among other things, and the novel reveals just how strong grief can be when that special loved one who taught you to make lefse passes on.

Time stopped on the street that day as I listened to Kathy and Susan talk about their loss. It was the kind of conversation I expected when the book came out late last month, and I was honored that they shared their stories. I was grateful that Final Rounds had brought Kathy, Susan, and me together, and I only hope the novel helps ease the pain.

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