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Ruth Rodgers releases second novel

Ruth Rodgers, a native of Madison County, is excited to announce the release of her new novel, Patchwork. Published by August Press, the novel takes place in the same small rural community in northern Florida as her first novel, Reparation, published in 2013 by the Florida Historical Society Press. The new novel follows the same extended family introduced in Reparation, the McCormicks, and takes place in 1952. The action begins with twenty-five-year-old Lacey McCormick on her way home from New York City, after getting a telegram from her mother, “Daddy had stroke. Come home. Mama.” After more than six years of family estrangement, due to the out-of-wedlock birth of her six-year-old son, Lacey knows she cannot refuse. It is finally time to return to the family farm in north Florida and introduce Benny to the rest of her devout Southern Baptist family. Lacey knows reconciliation will be difficult, but she is determined to demand acceptance, if not for herself, then at least for Benny, who is an innocent pawn in this war. Between her father’s continued disavowal of her and Benny, her siblings’ reproaches of her past behavior, and her mother’s equivocal position—“I feel like I’m being tore in two, with you pulling one way and your daddy the other.” Lacey is beset at all sides, and the birth of a new, legitimate McCormick grandchild during her visit underscores the unfairness of the situation. Even more important, however, than seeking forgiveness from her family and patching up their frayed relationship is Lacey’s need to finally forgive herself, something she has been unable to do for the past six years. Can Neil Hardister, a childhood friend and neighbor who is harboring his own secret, help to restore her trust in men so that she can finally let the past go and move forward with new confidence and self-worth? The author, the former Ruth Everett, grew up on a farm in the Pinetta community. She is the daughter of Doris Everett and the late Murphy Everett. After graduating from Madison High School in 1962 and from North Florida Junior College (as it was then known) in 1964, she transferred to Florida State University, where she earned a B.A. in English Education in 1966. She returned later to FSU for a Master’s Degree in 1972. She took a teaching job in Titusville, Florida, in 1966 and remains there today, where she is now retired after a 30 plus year career as an English teacher, most of those years at the Titusville campus of Brevard Community College, which is now Eastern Florida State College. She is married to Bill Rodgers and has three grown children: Matt, Amy and Will and 12 grandchildren. Her mother, Doris Everett, and all three of her sisters, Elizabeth (Libby) Hutto, Ann Olan and Lynn Waller, still live in the local area, and she is often up for visits. Her older brother Jim Everett of Jacksonville passed away last year, and younger brother Bill Everett lives in Defuniak Springs. She also has nieces, cousins and numerous extended family members still in the county. The novel is available at in both paperback and Kindle versions, and Ruth will be at the Madison Public Library on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. where she will have copies of both Patchwork and her first novel, Reparation, available for sale and signing. Please mark your calendars and make plans to come out and join her there.

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