A Place to Call Home
Mary Ellen Stelling & Peter James Stelling
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When Lenore de Quincy's father gives her the key to a bank box containing a fortune in cash and then dies, she realizes she is no longer under constraints to remain unhappily married. She abandons her husband, taking her daughter, Angela, with her from a provincial town in western Pennsylvania to the bright lights of Manhattan.
A PLACE TO CALL HOME is a novel inspired by true stories set against the First World War, The Roaring Twenties, and the Great Depression. It centers around two well-to-do families joined by an arranged marriage. The action is seen through Angela's eyes as she struggles with the effects on her life of her parents' divorce, a thing viewed in the 1920's as scandalous and tragic. Her travels between New York City and her father's nurturing family in a coal-belt town near Pittsburgh provide humorous and nostalgic anecdotes about growing up in the America of that era.
Mary Ellen Stelling was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1915 and lived in New York, Florida, North Carolina and Texas before settling in 1946 in Atlanta. For five years a feature columnist on the Women's Page of the Atlanta CONSTITUTION, she was a member of the Georgia Poetry Society and the Poetry Society of Texas. During the 1950's and 1960's, her work appeared in poetry journals in almost every state of the Union, and most newspapers of the time which featured verse published her poems.
She was the wife of a successful retail executive and a dedicated mother who did all the usual time-consuming things to support her son's activities. Behind the scenes she worked as time allowed to create a richly humorous prose document portraying her childhood experiences. Those sketches written in the 1950's totaling about a hundred pages were the seeds which inspired this book. Mrs. Stelling passed away at the age of 82 in 1998.
Peter James Stelling was born in Charlotte, NC, in 1943 and has spent most of his life in Atlanta. A graduate of Washington and Lee University and Grady College of the University of Georgia, he spent four years in advertising in New York before returning home to work for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and for two different firms specializing in Group Incentive Sales Travel and Meeting Planning. One of his most memorable work experiences was serving as road manager for a traveling symphony orchestra during the early years of Robert Shaw's tenure as their Music Director. Now a contentedly retired father of two and grandfather of four, he is grateful for having had the luxury of time to complete this unique family document. He remains an active supporter of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Opera, Trinity Presbyterian Church, and serves on the Board of Governors of the Vinings Club in suburban Atlanta.