LOVE OF FINISHED YEARS
Award-winning author Gregory Erich Phillips
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Publication Date: January 3, 2018
An Immigrant Girl's Powerful Journey of Aspiration and Love in Early Twentieth Century New York
Pre World War One, Elsa came to America with her eyes wide open, realizing it was up to her to make a life for herself. Surviving a sweat shop in lower Manhattan, a chance job with a Long Island elite family opens up her world. Invited in up to a point, she unwittingly, albeit precariously, crosses the social divide with her now open heart, which puts all she had worked for in jeopardy.
Grand Prize Winner
Chanticleer International Book Awards and Chaucer Historical Fiction Book Awards
A wonderfully satisfying reads.
- Chanticleer Reviews
"What a truly wonderful story! I've read it three times, and with each reading I find myself caring about the fabulous characters and their lives even more."
- P.J. Alderman, New York Times Bestselling Author
"I do hope the author has a sequel in the works...a beautiful novel that is set in a fascinating time in our nation's history."
- Linda S., Boulder, Colorado
Walking upstairs, she heard the gramophone spinning as Dafne and Glenn danced together in the billiard room.
“We were sailing along, on Moonlight Bay,” hummed both voices together with the music.
Elsa tried to slip into the room to watch unseen. It always made her happy to watch Dafne and Glenn dance together. Dafne saw her and extended her arm away from her fiancé, brightly smiling and inviting Elsa toward them. She walked over. Dafne slipped her arm around Elsa’s back, rocking with her until she was dancing, too. Dafne laid her head on Elsa’s shoulder, still humming the tune of Moonlight Bay. Elsa could hardly help being aware of the brush of Glenn’s arm against her other side.
“How I love you both,” Dafne cooed as the song ended. “As long as we three are together we will always be happy. Nothing ever needs to change.” She flitted away in her cornflower blue dress and put the needle back at the beginning of the record. “One more time, then you can give Jeanette her record back.” The song started again.
Dafne plopped into a chair, draping her legs over the padded arm. “I don’t think I will miss Lindenhurst at all, since we are all going to New York together.”
“You’ll miss it more than you think,” Glenn said.
“Nonsense.” She closed her eyes and hummed with the music. “Dance with Elsa.”
Elsa, who had remained standing in the middle of the floor beside Glenn, immediately started to back away toward the wall. Dafne lurched out of her seat and pushed her back toward Glenn, who was just as hesitant as Elsa. She grabbed him too, and thrust them together. Dafne forcefully shaped Elsa’s arms into a proper dancing posture around Glenn, and then she commanded Elsa to relax.
Glenn began to walk to the beats of the music. He was easy to follow. After a moment Elsa forgot herself and really did start to relax.
“Don’t look at your feet,” said Glenn gently. “If you think about when to step, you will be late. You can feel the rhythm through me.”
Elsa tried to follow his instructions. Dafne followed them, encouraging and repeatedly lifting Elsa’s drooping chin.
Elsa was glad when the song ended, only then realizing how much fun it had been. She stood back properly against the wall, even though she felt giddy inside. She had never been in that sort of physical contact with a man before. It was inappropriate to have enjoyed it so much.
Dafne smiled and patted her shoulder. Elsa could tell that Dafne understood exactly how she felt. Her face grew red.
“There will be a lot more fun for you in New York,” said Dafne. “Just you wait and see.”
About Gregory Erich Phillips
This moving debut novel by Gregory Erich Phillips won the grand prize in the Chanticleer Reviews International Writing Competition. From a prolific literary family, Gregory tells aspirational stories through strong, relatable characters that transcend time and place. Living in Seattle, Washington, he is also an accomplished tango dancer and musician.
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