Calico Jam


ISBN: N/A SKU: N/A Category:

Joanna is a lonely, curious, spirited young girl who spent her young years in the tangle of a loose-knit extended family. She lived with a great-aunt and uncle who were dutiful but detached, seemingly unaware of the needs of their young charge. The dark little secrets, sorrows, and regrets were all there, claiming the energies of their obsolete generation.

Joanna was born during the Great Depression of the 1930s when children were tolerated but not taken very seriously. Her journal became her companion and comforter. As she tries to understand her part in a family tragedy that destroys her mother, she seeks solace with her grandmother, whom she calls “Nammy”, a self-imposed exile from the family circle. Joanna feels exiled herself and becomes fixed on the young handicapped son of Nammy’s second marriage. She relates to her journal her relationships with her great aunt’s household, her increasingly absent father, and memories of her lost brother, Toby. Joanna finds an unexpected tutor in Alonzo, the remarkable husband of her grandmother, whose wisdom and humor pull her back to a safer place.

Joanna grows up, still trying to understand and still trying to go back to where she was welcomed and sheltered.
She is still wise and foolish, happy and sad, curious and afraid. Of course, her journey continues.

After raising a family and traveling extensively, the author has returned to New Jersey where she was born and raised. She and her twin sister had been writing and collaborating creatively since they were children, illustrating and compiling family histories into adulthood. Her interests include art and music, family lore and arcana, philosophy, and life-long learning. She lives with her canine companion (a border collie mix) and enjoys reading, writing, and the visits of her extensive extended family.


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