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Water Under the Bridge

A mother’s love may be tested and tried almost beyond endurance, until it has the opportunity to shine like gold refined in a furnace.

Such is the case with the mother described in the novel, Water Under the Bridge, by Verna Simms (Verna is also a contributor to the book, Journeys to Mother Love and this blog.)

Verna’s novel surprised me with its vivid characters and setting and its powerful themes. If you have read Verna’s short memoir in the Journeys to Mother Love, this novel will provide background that will give you even more appreciation for Verna’s personal story. While Water Under the Bridge is fiction, it is based on Verna’s experience as a child. I am sure the wonderful main character of the story, a nine-year-old girl named Amelia, is very much like our Verna was as a child.

What was it like in the early 20th Century, when a father converted to Mormonism, sold the farm in Missouri and moved his family to the dry desert of Arizona, where he found freedom to embrace the teaching of polygamy? As the family struggled to make ends meet during the Great Depression, what was it like for the wife and children to have their husband and father bring into their home young wives no older than his eldest children? What was it like for the young daughter to deal with conflicting feelings of love for her family, normal experiences of growing up, and yet increasing disappointment and disdain for her father … and finally fear for her own future as she overhears what her father has planned for her?!

Where should the wife and mother’s loyalties lie?

An unusual and profound story! In places it is, perhaps, not for the faint of heart. But if you read it (and it is available in both paperback and Kindle) you will be rewarded with a great read, an engrossing story, and a beautiful picture of tough mother love!