Bell Bridge Books
Contact Deborah Smith, editor
LOSE YOUR HEART TO A SPECIAL ROMANCE IN SMALLTOWN GEORGIA
In development for major feature film production starting 2012.
From Publishers Weekly:
“Part Remains of the Day, part wartime drama, this delicately written, somewhat didactic novel is set in Salty Creek, Ga., in the two years before Pearl Harbor. It focuses on Miss Anne, the moral center of the community, and on her recollection, years later, of the romance between town spinster Sophie and Grover Cleveland Oto, the California-born 50-year-old everyone thinks of as Miss Anne’s “Chinese” gardener. Both Sophie and Oto harbor secrets. Sophie’s is that the man she loved didn’t return from WWI; Oto’s is that happenstance and a Greyhound bus driver left him in Salty Creek, starved and in disgrace, far from his Japanese-American family. For two years the two are preternaturally aware of each other, but constrained from anything but brief, polite conversation. Each is a painter, and artistic imagination sustains both. In time, they fall into the habit of meeting at the riverbank on Sunday mornings with brushes and paper to work in companionable silence while the other townsfolk sing hymns at church. The requisite town snoop and the presence of Sophie and Anne’s household help ensures that Oto and Sophie keep a formal distance, but as the author’s lyrical flights intensify, so does the couple’s suppressed passion. Then the war unleashes cruelty disguised as patriotism and forces Oto into hiding. As in her earlier novel Praise Jerusalem!, Trobaugh depicts in aching detail the isolation that racism occasions, and once again suggests the small but heartwarming triumphs made possible by human dignity and courage.”
From Library Journal:
“It’s 1941, and small-town spinster Sophie has fallen in love with a completely inappropriate fellow. Mr. Oto, a Japanese American gardener, years older, has captured her heart. The growth of their relationship is a gradual, tentative, even poetic event. However, the bombing of Pearl Harbor soon complicates this friendship. The townspeople of Sophie’s Georgia burg are suspicious of outsiders and of any unconventional behavior. After the bombing, Mr. Oto must go into hiding while his landlady, Miss Anne, and Sophie both bravely conspire to hide and feed him. . . . Trobaugh (Resting in the Bosom of the Lamb) has written another Southern novel featuring a beautiful and unusual love story.”