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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

What's in a Name?

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ June 14, 2011

Continuing the series suggested to me by my friend Rob Walker on how I titled my books, I move on to ELIZABETH, Days of Loss and Hope, book 2 in my family saga trilogy

The Daughters of Courage.

 

As I explained in last week’s article on the naming of KATHRYN, book 1 in the series, titles are the prerogative of the publisher, and after my previous experience of committing the solecism of insulting the name my editor had chosen for his daughter before we arrived at the safe harbor of naming my heroine Kathryn, this time I happily jumped at his suggestion that the heroine of my depression-era story be Elizabeth. I could hardly object, after all, since that’s my daughter’s name.

And although my heroine’s struggle to graduate from college and become a school teacher when the only resources for tuition payments were chickens for the dining hall pot and wagon loads of sagebrush to keep the college furnaces burning, and then to marry and start a family in the harrowing days of the eve of World War II, is really my mother’s story, I never attempted to name my heroine Reta. (Yes, R-E-T-A, it’s the French spelling, R-I- is the Spanish, as my mother explained all her life.)

Especially since my mother’s maiden name was Book. She always insisted that her mother chose the name Reta Book with a completely straight face. And, honestly, I can’t imagine my grandmother making a pun. But how wonderful that the name turned out to be prophetic.

And here, my parents' wedding picture, June 17, 1937, Kuna, Idaho.   My Grandmother made  the dress and mother's flowers were Talisman roses.  Sweet Peas from the garden decorated the reception, just as they did for Elizabeth and Eliot.                                        

Elizabeth is certain that determination and hard work can bring success to any trial: even when The Great Depression makes her dreams of a college education seem impossible; even when her family is faced with losing their farm; even when her beloved Eliot Hamilton is crippled in an airplane crash. The courage that sustains Elizabeth through the loss of her brother flying for the RAF and the devastation of Pearl Harbor is put to the test closer to home when she is faced with giving birth during Idaho’s first blackout in a tarpaper shack attended by her mother Kathryn.

These are absorbing stories of three strong-willed and determined young women who each learns to rely on God’s faithfulness to guide her through whatever the world brings, even love and romance. — Christian Book Distributors

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Reader Comments:

So many Elizabeth's in my family that nicknames had to be divvied up to avoid confusion. They experienced immigration, WWI and WWII, and the Depression. What stories and, as you say, what strength and determination.
-Liz V., June 14, 2011

"Elizabeth, Betsy and Bess, found a nest, 4 eggs in it, each took one, 3 eggs left." Something like that, anyway. It's always been my favorite name, hence choosing it for our daughter. Then she married an ardently royalist Englishman and *both* of his favorite women are named Elizabeth.
-Donna, June 15, 2011

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