Otis: A Novel

By Dr. Mary Ellen Erickson, Ph.D.

Self-published by Mary Ellen Erickson, Kensal, North Dakota, 2004, 252 pages, softcover.


Marry Ellen Erickson at the Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase, Grand Forks, North Dakota, November 4, 2007
Otis is a humorous story about a girl's coming of age in the 1950s. Her thoughts, dreams and feelings conflict with her family traditions, her religious philosophy, her need for independence, and her desire to understand the family secret. This warm, funny, and sometimes sad book brings out the best and worst in human nature as discovered by a young farm girl who struggles to understand her own evolution into womanhood during a turbulent transition time in the history of women's liberation. This "chick lit" romance will not only appeal to young female readers, but also older women, who were young in the 1950s, as they reminisce about their own youth and emotional struggles.

"Why did caring for someone have to hurt so much? Why weren't there any books to tell you how to find romance without all the pain?" These questions and many more were asked by Ellie, who was born during the late years of the Great Depression, grew up during World War II, and came of age during the optimistic '50s. Ellie decides to tell her granddaughter about her German-Russian heritage, her family relationships, and the environmental affects on decision-making, so Kelsey will have an easier transition from childhood to womanhood.

The women of the '50s had more sexual freedom, more educational opportunities, and more confusion in their life than any preceding generation as they tried to bridge the gap between marriage and a career. Ellie's story could be the story of any independent young woman who came of age during the '50s.

Her relationships with her family - especially her father, her relationships with the young men she dates, and her curiosity about the malevolent uncle all intervene in this story that reveals the good and the bad in human nature.

This historical fiction novel will bring laughter and tears to readers as they follow Ellie through her formative years.

About the author

Mary Ellen Erickson, resides on a farm in central North Dakota with her husband, Dwayne. Dr. Erickson is a retired teacher/school counselor. She spent over 30 years working with students K-12 in fields such as music, physical education, social studies, psychology, and counseling/guidance. Dr. Erickson has a B.S. degree from Valley City State University, M.S. degree from North Dakota State University, and a Ph.D. from Walden University. She has written some children's books that stress values, character and work ethic, a book on caregiving of elderly parents, and is working on a series of fictional novels about love and marriage in the 1950s and 1960s

Otis: A Novel

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