The Making of Nebraska Brown by Louise Caiola
The last thing eighteen-year-old Ann Leigh remembers is running from her boyfriend in a thick Nebraska cornfield. This morning she’s staring down a cool Italian sunrise, an entire continent from the life she once knew. The events of the eighteen months in between have inexplicably gone missing from her memory. All at once she’s living with Tommy, an attractive, young foreigner asking for her continued love. Though he’s vaguely familiar, she recalls a boy named Shane in America who she reluctantly agreed to marry. Juggling a new world while her old one is still M.I.A is difficult enough without the terrifying movie scenes spinning a dizzy loop in her mind: glimpses of a devastating house fire, a romance gone wrong, an unplanned pregnancy, and a fractured family – each claiming to be part of who she once was – a girl and a past somehow discarded. Ann Leigh must collect the pieces of herself to become whole again, but she doesn’t know who to trust especially when Tommy’s lies become too obvious to ignore. And above all, her heart aches to discover what became of the child she may or may not have given birth to. The Making of Nebraska Brown tells the story of one girl’s coming apart from the inside and the great lengths she’ll go to reclaim herself and find her way home.
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Even though Tommy had showed me my passaporto—an official document issued by the Italian government—I still was uncertain. It said my full name. Ana Lisa Carcossi. And it was stamped in bright red ink that glared at me, too, the same way Tommy’s mini blinds did—important ink that defied my questions. Tommy had explained that he’d brought me with him once, to the states, on a business trip to the west coast. I wasn’t convinced.
The replies were succinct. Sensible. Delivered with Tommy’s calm veneer. He was a lake before daybreak. It unnerved and relaxed me at the same time. He was hypnotic, his powers stretching into the late day hours when we would find ourselves sharing a pillow. I loved his breath when he fell out, no longer conscious, the way it reminded me I wasn’t alone. Wasn’t completely terrified underneath it all.
Sixty minutes idled by, and I tore myself from the sheets, still balmy from the heat of our bodies. Those muffins were begging to be eaten. I slipped a short cotton bathrobe around my shoulders, brushed my teeth, and stared into the mirror above the bathroom sink.“Ann Leigh?” I asked my reflection.
She refused to answer. She just stared back at me, looking young and helpless, a tiny pink sore at the corner of her top lip, her hair running loose, dark and wild. I was more Ana Lisa than I thought. More this muddled Italian/American who was sleeping with a rich Italian living in near-poverty.
As a young girl who spent her allowance on Nancy Drew mysteries, Louise realized that one day, she might have a story of her own to tell. Maybe even more than one story. After years focused on raising her children she eventually reconnected with her passion for creative writing. She soon began to craft a large collection of short stories which were published in the inspirational online magazine, Faithhopeandfiction.com. Shortly thereafter, she authored her first novel, Wishless, a contemporary YA, released in 2011. Louise devotes a portion of each day to honing her skills. She has several other novels currently in various stages of development. A confirmed bibliophile, Louise enjoys reading outdoors on a warm spring day and watching her pup chase leaves on a breeze. She looks forward to meeting others who share her love of the written word and invites you to visit her blog, her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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