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[Note: Randy Garsee is a broadcast journalist in Tucson, Arizona and frequently interviews authors.]
The True Story Behind
"The Water and the Blood."
You might say "The Water and the Blood," Nancy E. Turner's second novel rose from the ashes of an actual event in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona.
"There was a time when I belonged to a church that had been burned down while I was a member of it," said Turner. "And I remember just how devastated I felt."
Turner is referring to a church fire in 1996 when the First Southern Baptist Church, a Tucson landmark, was torched by an arsonist.
Turner's novel begins with a church fire, but the story is set in the 1940's and the church is in east Texas, not Tucson.
The reader will discover an intermittent theme of racism in this novel, but possibly not in the context one is used to seeing it.
Turner spent several weeks in East Texas researching her book and most of that time was spent in Jasper, Texas. Jasper attracted national attention after an African-American man named James Byrd was chained to the back of a pickup and dragged to his death. Three white supremacists were convicted of Byrd's murder.
"Interviewing people and trying to go back into that time and be accurate and yet not be brutal was really tough," said Turner, who talked to people in Jasper about racism. "What I found was that if you just spoke to them, they were all friendly. It didn't matter what color or shape or size or anything. I didn't have any preconceptions of what it would be like. Having spent most of my life in Arizona and California, that kind of racism is so foreign to me that I felt like it was kind of a mystic thing. It was almost like something I was trying to understand from either side. And so I think there's a lot of that in this book, too. These lines have been drawn and they've been there for so long, that I just had never been exposed to in that way. You hear things growing up, but it's not like living it."
The main character in the novel is a girl named Frosty. Turner said of Frosty, "I wanted a main character who was so naïve to wickedness that she really didn't even see it around her. She can look at people's hearts and not their skin color."
The other main character is Gordon, a Navajo Code Talker. His story takes the novel into battles of World War II. For the descriptions of war, she gives credit to her grandmother's brother, a U.S. Marine.
"The descriptions that he gave," said Turner. "He said, `You know, I came up through the tide pools and bodies washed back and forth like minnows in a bucket.'"
Turner received some critical praise for her first book, "These is my Words."
"The Water and the Blood" with its wonderful prose and amazing characters should launch Turner into the national spotlight of modern day writers.
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My daughter is almost four months old now and we use this stroller almost every day. I did a lot of research before deciding on this stroller and I could not be happier with my choice. I LOVE the versatility of the stroller. Switching back and forth between the attachments and folding the stroller down is extremely easy and quick.
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Now that my daughter is out of the newborn phase, we still use the bassinet some, but we also use the toddler seat for her. She really enjoys looking around at everything and this seat gives her the perfect perspective to do so. The versatility of this seat is great. We can lean it back for her so she can look up at the sky or sit it forward so she can look at us. It can also be attached to the stroller facing forward or facing backward which is really nice.
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