Book: Windborne by Wanda DeHaven Pylecategories: Book, Fiction, Women's Studies, Relationships, Education, American Dream, Dreamers and Realists, Empowerment
Wanda DeHaven Pyleabout this book: Windborne, by Wanda DeHaven Pyle is a novel of empowerment and awakening. Three generations of women born in the Kansas Flint Hills set aside their own hopes and dreams to support the dreams of the men they fall in love with. But in the Flint Hills dreams often wither and die from hardships brought on by climate extremes, economics and politics. As each woman struggles to hold her family together through pain and heartache the dream begins to unravel and she must discover the hidden strength and power that lies deep within her to realize her own dreams.
Kansas is known for its relentless and unceasing wind. During the dust storms of the 1930's entire lives were carried away with the topsoil. I have always been intrigued by the way seemingly random events can change the course of our lives and futures. The wind became a metaphor for the changes that affect our lives without our control. The c over of the book depicting the old schoolhouse with the windswept tree evokes an emotion of hope and promise as well as sadness and loss.
I was inspired to write this book by the women in my family who also had to triumph over great odds to create a better life for their children. Many of the stories and incidents in the book are based on those that were passed down to me through the generations. Others were based on personal interviews and intensive research on the economic and political issues of the times in which they lived. While the book is primarily geared toward women, I believe it has a message for both men and women. It raises a question about the nature of relationships and the magnetic draw between realists and dreamers, and in particular, the struggle to find a balance between the two.
While the book only took a little over a year to research and write, the story has been rolling around in my head for over thirty years. The most difficult part of the book to write was the final chapter. I wanted to leave the reader with a positive feeling about the characters and the knowledge that they had not suffered and struggled in vain. The strong message passed down through the generations in my family has always been that education is the key to a better life. We are a family of educators and it has been our passion to instill a love of learning in our children and in those we teach. Unfortunately, like the women in the novel, I also set aside my own dreams to support the dreams of others. Now that my children are grown, I have retired after over thirty-seven years as a teacher and administrator and now have the time to pursue my own dream. I want to share our stories with a much broader audience.
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