In this week of American gratitude, the Wranglers are choosing one person they’re grateful to in the business of writing. Narrowing it down, D’Ann said, was going to be tough. It was for me. Would it be for you? Give it some thought, check out our posts this week, and let us know which ONE person you’re grateful to. And, while you’re at it, have a great Thanksgiving!
My aunt had more books than you could shake a stick at. She bought them from a book club back in the…well, way back, and they resided with paper covers intact on a tall shelf in the corner of the living room. I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Joy In the Morning, The Hoosier Schoolmaster, Elsie Dinsmore, and Rose In Bloom, to name a few. I sat cross-legged with my back against the wall and lost myself in the South, in New York City, in backwoods Indiana.
And then I read His Official Fiancée by Berta Ruck.
Oh, my God.
The book was written in 1914, one of 80 novels published by Ms. Ruck. There were two movies made of the story, the first one silent. It was hilarious. It was loving. It was…oh, Lord, it was so romantic. It was written in the flowery, Britishy language of old movies and it was…did I say it was romantic?
I don’t remember if it was the first romance I ever read, but it’s the first one that made me go “ahhh.” I already knew I’d be a writer—Louisa May Alcott taught me that—but Berta Ruck is the reason I write in the language of Happily Ever After. She died in 1978 at the age of 100 years and nine days. She published books from 1905 – 1972.
Thanks, Berta Ruck.