CENTERVILLE — In “Caravan” (published by Lulu), author Marsha A. Mitchell engages readers with the story of one dysfunctional family’s life-changing summer as they travel around South Dakota shearing sheep, partly based on Mitchell’s own experiences.
“Unless these stories are captured and told, they are lost,” said Mitchell. “I didn’t want this story to be lost!”
Every summer, the DeBoer family of Iowa traveled around western South Dakota shearing sheep for sheep ranchers. It’s the summer of 1957, and eight-year old Annie is looking forward to another summer of fun and adventure. This summer, however, Annie has some added responsibilities, including working on the caravan and frequently looking after her little brother and sister, which prove to be more difficult than expected. When Annie witnesses an event no child should see, she’s in for a shocking summer and a painful lesson.
“The book has a little of everything - humor, travel, abuse, romance,” said Mitchell. “In addition, even though this is a work of fiction, it is based on real experiences and a time and tradition that not many people today are familiar with.”
Filled with excitement and heartache, “Caravan” presents a coming-of-age story that leaves a lasting imprint. “I want readers to understand that a person’s childhood and the way they were raised has a huge impact on what kind of person they become,” said Mitchell. “Hopefully, it will help them better understand someone they know and love by realizing that fact.”
Marsha A. Mitchell was born and raised in Moravia. She is the single mother of three and worked for nearly 35 years for a local utility company and then became mayor of Centerville. Mitchell is now officially retired and enjoying it. She has previously published, “Pieces of the Puzzle,” a collection of poetry and short stories.