Beverly Smirnis & Catherine Team appeared on Good Morning Iowa when Anna From Atlanta was published.
Like our first book, Anna from Atlanta, our second book, Anna of Iowa is dedicated to caregivers everywhere. Our dedication reads, “Bless all of the caregivers for working at an often difficult and thankless job. And bless the real Anna of Atlanta and Iowa for setting an example of how such a job can influence not just the one being cared for, but set an example to everyone else about the dignity and respect every human life deserves.”
Anna was a black woman–the first black woman most people living in rural Iowa had ever seen when Anna moved there in 1927. She was there to take care of a physically challenged young boy–something people were also not used to seeing. In that day, children born in his condition were typically sheltered away.
There was no way that Anna was going to allow herself or the child Fritzy to be treated with any less dignity or respect than anyone else in the town. Anna is based on a real woman named Anna who lived during the time period we portray in the real town of Marshalltown, Iowa. She made a profound impression on everyone in the town, including co-author Catherine Team’s grandfather and father. When Catherine’s turn to be a caregiver came around, she was mesmerized by the stories told by her family members about the real person-Anna of Atlanta.
The narrator, who interviews Anna, met with her initially on a newspaper assignment. She was a reporter sent to write about the history of the Great Depression era. She went back to Anna and ask questions about World War II era in the second book. But in the narrator’s conversations with Anna, she received far more than a history lesson. In Anna From Atlanta she learned about women and the choices they make. But it isn’t just a book for and about women. We received a ton of compliments from male readers, too. The cast of characters from her story are just like people we know or could meet any day on our own Main Street.
As they wrote the second book, Anna of Iowa, Catherine and Beverly remarked numerous times about how the second world war changed America overnight at that time, and the similarities to how our world changed so quickly from the world pandemic that set in while they were working to finish up the sequel.
The book’s narrator writes, “In learning my purpose in life, I also discovered Anna’s purpose in life. In fact, it’s not me at all speaking to you. It was first God’s spirit speaking through Anna, and now it’s Anna’s spirit speaking through me to you today.” Catherine and Beverly truly feel that they have again brought “back to life” a remarkable woman who still teaches us life lessons today.
Order Anna from Atlanta from Amazon today, if you haven’t ready, it and get ready for Anna of Iowa and its lessons on love–and war!