Pella Chronicle

July 10, 2013

Local author celebrates publication of first novel

The Pella Chronicle

---- — To celebrate the launch of her first novel, Too Much Left Unsaid, retired Central College professor Lee Collins is holding a book launch party at the Second Reformed Church Gathering Space, 612 Broadway, Pella, on Saturday, July 13, from 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon. Collins will read a few selections from the book and sign copies.

Too Much Left Unsaid, published by the Write Place, is a “deftly crafted multi-generational novel set in the Midwest between 1917 and 1969,” according to Sharelle Byars Moranville, author of The Hop. The novel unfolds the story of Mattie McEnroe Connor and her sister-in-law, Kathy Hummel Connors. Mattie’s husband’s brother surprised the whole family when, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he showed up at the train station of the small Ohio town the Connors call home, bringing Kathy as his new bride. When Josh left to fight in the war, Kathy—fiercely independent—and Mattie—deeply devoted to her family—had to try to trust and understand each other.

From the 1918 flu epidemic through four wars and on to the turbulent sixties, these two ordinary Midwestern women and their families confront social and political change, as well as devastating personal loss.

Collins wrote the first draft of the novel in the fall of 2009, after attending the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. The novel was inspired by people in Collins’ own past. “Mattie is based on my husband’s mother, but I hasten to add that the book is FICTION,” said Collins. “She kept journals that scarcely revealed anything more than the weather, her menus, and trips to town. In my fiction I imagined many adventures she might have had.”

Too Much Left Unsaid is available at or by calling 641.628.8398.