This Is How It Begins: A Novel by Joan DempseyThis Is How It Begins: A Novel by Joan Dempsey

This Is How It Begins: A Novel

byJoan Dempsey

Paperback | October 3, 2017

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Winner of the 2017 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers
"In a time when religious liberty is on trial, [this] is an extraordinarily pertinent novel dripping in suspense and powerful scenes of political discourse ... a must-read ...." -FOREWORD (starred review)
"Beautifully written ... An ambitious and moving debut novel." -Lily King, author of the award-winning national bestsellerEuphoria

In 2009, eighty-five-year-old art professor Ludka Zeilonka gets drawn into a political firestorm when her grandson, Tommy, is among a group of gay Massachusetts teachers fired for allegedly silencing Christian kids in high school classrooms. The ensuing battle to reinstate the teachers raises the specter of Ludka's World War II past-a past she's spent a lifetime trying to forget. Radio host Warren Meck has been leading the Massachusetts campaign to root out anti-religious bias in public schools-but he believes in working respectfully within the political system, so he's alarmed and offended when his efforts are undermined by someone inciting violent action. Even worse, he fears the culprit is among his inner circle. As Ludka's influential family defends Tommy under increasingly vicious conditions, a stranger with connections to her past shows up and threatens to expose her for illegally hoarding a valuable painting presumed stolen by the Nazis. Compulsively readable,This Is How It Beginsis a timely novel about free speech, the importance of empathy, and the bitter consequences of long-buried secrets.
New England native Joan Dempsey received an MFA and teaching certificate in creative writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her writing has been published inThe Adirondack Review, Alligator Juniper, Obsidian: Literature of the African Diaspora, andPlenitude Magazine, and aired on National Public Radio. Dempsey was the recipient ...
Title:This Is How It Begins: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:399 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.68 inPublished:October 3, 2017Publisher:She Writes PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1631523082

ISBN - 13:9781631523083

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Editorial Reviews

"... an extraordinarily pertinent novel dripping in suspense and powerful scenes of political discourse . a must-read ...." -FOREWORD (starred review)". Dempsey's fine first novel [is] notable for the evenhanded way it addresses hot-button issues. The result is a timely and memorable story." -BOOKLIST"A gripping and sensitive portrait of ordinary people wrestling with ideological passions." -KIRKUS"Dempsey's fine debut, set in 2009, explores how hate, fear, and intolerance cast a lifelong shadow. Current events have only made this gripping story more relevant." -LIBRARY JOURNAL"... a thought-provoking and timely novel." -THE ADVOCATE" ... [Dempsey's] talent is evident ... a fast-paced, entertaining read." -MAINE SUNDAY TELEGRAM"... timely, suspenseful and powerful exploration of the ... conflict between religious freedom and civil rights . a provocative hit." -KENNEBEC JOURNAL"... [the novel] is nothing if not timely ... an enticing read." -MAINE WOMEN MAGAZINE"... a page-turner ... a perfect book club choice for these contentious times." -HUNGRY FOR GOOD BOOKS" ... a writer worth watching, a novel worth reading." -B. Lynn Goodwin, STORY CIRCLE BOOK REVIEWS"A remarkable novel ... an essential story for our time." -MATTHEW GOODMAN, New York Times bestselling author of Eighty Days"A spellbinding novel ... a moving adventure ." -DR. EVA FOGELMAN, Pulitzer Prize Nominee for Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust"A riveting story ... this striking debut is essential reading for our times." -JUDITH FRANK, Lambda Literary Award Finalist for All I Love and Know "... a prescient road map for our times." -MARY RECHNER, author of Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women"... a compelling story that seems to rise out of ... current national headlines." -FRANK O. SMITH, Bellwether Prize finalist for Dream Singer