The book has been published!
Her Side of History–Finding My Foremothers’ Footprints is available on Amazon/Kindle.
Author Claudia J. Severin took things into her own hands when her genealogy research seemed limiting. Follow her foremothers, four mothers plucked from her family tree. She reimagines the lives of ancestral families in this anthology. Ina, the tragic suffragette, traded her college degree and teaching career for a loving husband and children in the 1910s, in the shadow of the Great War, but things did not work out as she planned. Mary, a German immigrant, finds love with an Iowa farmer, and crosses the state in a covered wagon with his entire family to become a homesteader on the Nebraska plains in 1869. She didn’t know that Indian encounters, prairie fires and locusts would threaten her and her rapidly growing family. Nellie fell for the bad boy, the Good Time Charley who didn’t let a little thing like Prohibition stand in his way. She tries to control his drinking and spending, while supporting her family in times of calamity in the 1920s and 1930s traveling from Nebraska to Kansas and back again. Katie finds herself the sole heir to her father’s farm in southeastern Nebraska decades after the Homestead Act took most of the land ownership out of play. She enjoys playing the flirtatious games learned from her older half-sisters. But are her suitors interested in her or her inheritance?
Roger Lemke 5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2020
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What an amazing concept for a book. Imagine historical fiction with a very personal touch. Facts from intense genealogical research are used to create the likely stories about families that immigrated and settled in Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. After each fictional account about one of her foremothers the author provides the genealogical tree and, most fascinating, family photos. We have all seen the classic black & white photos from in and around the the beginning of the 20th Century of families dressed in their Sunday best staring proudly at the camera. Claudia Severin uses comfortable midwestern prose that brings out the unique traits and personalities of her foremothers. You read their stories, and then you see them. If you are looking for a relaxing book to read that will bring a smile to your face, this is it.
Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2020
Format: Kindle Edition
I loved Her Side of History. I really couldn’t put the book down. Claudia Severin did a wonderful job of weaving the tales of her own ancestors, who were women homesteaders and made huge contributions to the work that homesteading required. So much has been written about the men who were involved in this period of history, but Severin wanted to write about the women she found in her family when doing research in genealogy. Her character development was excellent, as well as the way she depicted the settings from that time. Her foremothers came alive to me. She mentions in her Afterword that she “didn’t want to write in the style of a bygone era,” and this helped make the stories very understandable for those of us who live in the 21st Century. Also, how timely that this book has been published in time for Women’s History Month. I have already recommended this book to friends and family.
Nurse_bookie 5.0 out of 5 stars
Amazing HF Read
Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2020 Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading this amazing historical fiction book inspired by the authors’ own research into her own genealogy. The book covers the distinct story line of four amazing women Ina, Mary, Nellie and Katie, all of whom were women from Severin’s family tree.
The book included pictures which were provided at the end of each of these amazing women’s stories, which for me made for an even more immersive read as I imagined these women’s day to day life, their struggles with their roles in their household and in their community at that time, their family, marriage, and the mundane life of running their household.
Severin’s creativity clearly showed by the beautiful and heartfelt writing and prose. I learned a lot just reading about them as these were based on well researched facts about the life of these women, as their families immigrated and settled around Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas region.
These women’s stories were so inspiring, and to know that these may very well be how their lives were, as women’s stories were harder to find then as more men’s heroics were published or mentioned, was the amazing part for me in reading this book. Women stayed in the shadows of these men in our history. It was for me such a refreshing take to see and write about these women and have them be in the forefront for once.
I absolutely loved and enjoyed this amazing, creatively well written, and researched historical fiction book. Brava Severin!!!
gtcatlady: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2020Format: Paperback
Reviewed in the United States on March 24, 2020Format: Kindle Edition
In this unique historical fiction, we follow four women from the author’s family tree. Ina, Mary, Nellie, and Katie. Even though they are from different time periods, these strong women are connected in many ways. They all dream of romance, have fear, endure heartbreak and have hope for an unseen future.
I was given an e-book version of this novel by Hidden Gems to read and to give an honest review.
Wow! Did I love this book! This novel is so unique in that, even though it’s a historical fiction, the women and their families are real people. Each woman has her own section in the book (ranging between 4-6 chapters), so it read like four short stories.
* In Nellies story, there is some foul language*
Every woman has different personalities but they were truly strong and loving people. Ina and Katie were my favorites! I loved the fact that the author wrote their personalities to fit their own time period and that they were loyal to their husbands and families (even through hard times). I think it’s becoming a rarity to see such loyalty in these matters in books today. It’s very refreshing. I can’t wait to see if she continues on with more family members!
Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars
Bringing Herstory to Life
Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2020 Format: Paperback
I was captivated by the title and the content did not disappoint. Learning of the trials and victories of a family of midwestern women through a well written narrative mixing fact and fiction heightened my interest in learning more of my heritage. I highly recommend the book.
About The Author
Claudia Johnson Severin lives with her farmer husband on a southeastern Nebraska farm that was homesteaded in 1869 by her husband’s great-grandparents, a setting for a portion of her anthology. At one time, the farm was home to dairy cows and chickens, as well as children. The cows, chickens, and children have all moved on, along with her day job. She spent a year researching many branches of her family tree, but decided the facts she uncovered did not leave enough to the imagination. She applied imagination to the facts and came up with this book.
When she is not writing, she is constructing one-of-a-kind play structures for her grandchildren. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Journalism and a Cornhusker football fan.