When you start out with the cards stacked against you, it can be difficult to imagine overcoming those odds. But Sharon Bruce was able to do it. Read an excerpt from her memoir, Shoebox Baby, and then download your own copy. Follow the tour for more! Best of luck in the giveaway!
Shoebox Baby is a creative non-fiction story based on the life of Susan Fenton and her family. Sue was born in Nova Scotia on a blustery winter night in a crude weather-worn shack with dirt floors. Although the doctor told Sue's mother that her baby would be dead before the morning, she made every attempt to keep her infant alive.
Sue and her siblings were born into poverty, survived the Depression and the fall-out of World War II, and contended with tuberculosis, unemployment and polio. This book is filled with family antics, joy, sorrow, laughter, and mystery, covering the trials, triumphs and hilarious exploits of the large and colourful cast of characters that is the Fenton family.
Sue's courageous determination to live a full life, regardless of the limitations others imposed on her and the circumstances that came her way, made her a remarkably resilient woman.
The beginning of autumn was a busy season for the Fenton family. With school starting, gathering extra wood, harvesting the garden, putting down preserves, and keeping up with her chores, Grace had no free time for herself. Usually, when the children were in bed, she tidied up or did more laundry. When she went to bed, she was asleep within seconds of her head hitting the pillow.
One evening, she was too tuckered out to do anything extra. She decided that the laundry would still be there in the morning and there were no pressing matters to deal with, so she made herself a cup of hot tea and sat in the rocking chair. As she sipped on her tea, she wondered how her husband was doing and when he would be home next. Marshall had not been home since May. The cost of the train fare to go home was too expensive and the mill was so busy that they had four shifts running each day, therefore, no time off was allotted.
Grace did not realize it, but she was going to see her husband sooner than she expected.
In the middle of November, Marshall and Alexander showed up unannounced at home. Grace was shocked to see them. As soon as she set eyes on them, she knew why they had returned home. Both appeared to be sick. They had lost weight, were pale, sweaty, and had chronic coughs. These were signs of tuberculosis.
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Writing has been Sharon's passion since childhood. At seven years old she won first prize at a local fall fair for her story about a stuffed pink elephant. Since then, she was hooked. Articles, poems and the book Beyond the Forests of Yesteryears are part of her publishing portfolio. Curiosity mixed with a love of hearing and writing unique stories about others is the subject of her work. Some call it being darn right nosey, others call it vivid creativity. During her career she worked in the social services field with individuals, families, groups and organizations to address social and cultural issues. A significant part of her job included inspirational speaking and sharing stories. Sharon was raised in Northeastern Ontario, Canada, where she resides with her husband. Together they enjoy retirement and organizing activities for seniors, which includes writing and acting out comical skits for small audiences.
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