Last of the Matriarchs

 In Blog

Judi Lundh is a retired English teacher who lives not far from my home in the Lakes Region of Laconia, New Hampshire. She has written a few books and contacted me after seeing an ad I run in the Laconia Sun for Janice Beetle Books.

One piece Judi penned was about her mother, Virginia, and Judi had in mind to have it edited, designed, and printed in book form as a gift for Virginia’s 90th birthday. After we discussed the process and how it would all work with technology bridging the gap between Western Mass and Laconia, I started helping Judi in December 2019.

Because the book existed then only as a PDF, my intern Teresa Adams typed the work. Then, Judi wrote a half dozen or so more chapters, fleshing out an end and bringing the content up to date with the year 2020 and Virginia’s impending birthday. I copyedited the piece, asked some pesky questions, and—because we were in a hurry to complete the project—I also did the book design.

It was printed by Off the Common Books in Amherst in early March, and I drove the box with Judi’s 50 copies up to New Hampshire to deliver them; Judi’s mother, sisters, and other family members—all guests at the March birthday gathering—were to receive a book.

Judi was thrilled, as she should be! She is proud and felt certain her mother would be honored by her words and efforts.

The Last of the Matriarchs begins with Virginia meeting the man she would marry in the early 1940s and offers glimpses of special moments in Virginia’s life as a wife and mother—raising three daughters, working hard, spending time with her dear friend Eleanor.

The book ends with a poem Judi penned, called “Sonnet of Love.”

Judi is a fine writer, and the work is sweet and sentimental. I can’t imagine a nicer tribute.

Girls. (My girls, Sally and Molly.) Are you reading this? Paying attention? This would be a wonderful gift for YOUR mother. You know. Some day.

Nicely done, Judi, and thanks very much for letting me help you bring your mother’s story to life!

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