ISBN 978-1-62137-188-5 (softcover), $12.95, 360 pages.
It is 1841, and fourteen-year-old Charlotte Mailliard should be concerned with French fashion, French tradition and her studies with her classmates, Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephews. Instead, her Papa has decided to move his family to America. Now Charlotte can only think of a strange state called Illinois and the “savages” she will encounter on her long journey. No one could forsee that the family’s trek to that frontier would bring them to a Kentucky slave auction, an experience that would forever change their lives.
Two decades earlier, another Frenchman, Henri Moreau, a street urchin of Paris, had made his way to that same Illinois, where life was a pleasant mix of his and native customs. But in 1832, that peace was destroyed by the Blackhawk War, an event that tragically impacted Henri and his family.
As the nation and the Mailliard and Moreau families mature, it is the common theme of war that causes Charlotte to realize she is but one cog in the endless cycle of love and loss, the bane of a country where another Illinois native son will not abide “a house divided.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dianne Kirtley taught English, Journalism, and Creative Writing at Nazareth Academy, a college prep high school in LaGrange Park, Illinois, for twenty-five years.. During that time she also chaired the English Department and was Director of Public Relations.
The historical novel, Point of Departure, is her most researched project and was inspired by the discovery of information about one of her husband’s ancestors whose family were personal attendants to the Bonabartes.
“When I first began the investigation of Charlotte Mailliard, reading her letters and visiting the places where she lived and the very cemetery where she and her family were buried, I felt her story begged to be told. After seven years of work, I hope she would be pleased with my effort.”
Dianne attended Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, received her B.A. from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and M.Ed. from Loyola University, Chicago.
In addition to her pursuit of writing, she has also been a member and president of the LaGrange Business and Professional Women’s Organization. She is currently active in the Chicago Southwest Suburban Alumni Chapter of Delta Delta Delta sorority.