Noah Carter lives a quiet, rather confined life in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He lives in the utility room of a laundromat. He works in construction and repairs the machines at the laundromat. He seems to have few friends and no relatives. One day, a police officer comes to the laundromat and hands Noah a message. And it means that Noah will have to return home to the memories of an abusive family and a much-loved uncle – the uncle who betrayed him.
Agnes Keller was born and raised in France and came as a child to the United States after World War II. She’s now aging and afflicted with an increasing dementia. Her once-beautiful farm, named Alsace Farm after her childhood region, is overgrown and falling apart. And it seems to Agnes that the farm is a metaphor for her life.
Tayte Donnelly is Agnes’s granddaughter. She’s returning to Alsace Farm with the memories of what it was like when she was a child – the only really good place she knew. Her ne’er-do-well parents have long ago abandoned her, but Tayte is tough and used to getting along on her own.
Noah, Agnes, and Tayte will come together, clashing and fighting their way to love and understanding. Each brings considerable baggage. Noah has the pain of a fleeting marriage annulled by force and thrown into jail because he was betrayed by his uncle. Agnes and her father brought secrets with them from France – a whole attic full of secrets. And Tayte, hurt so profoundly by her parents, doesn’t want to let anything or anyone penetrate her tough exterior.
The Dragons of Alsace Farm by Laurie Lewis is a big, rather complex novel, with three narrative lines (and character histories) and numerous sub-plots. Lewis manages to tie it all together in one understandable and often heartrending story.
Lewis writes historical fiction as L.C. Lewis, romance and women's fiction as Laurie Lewis, and general fiction as Laurie L.C. Lewis. She’s published some 10 novels.
The Dragons of Alsace Farm is a story about how the past can haunt and control our lives, and what it takes to break the hold the past has on us.
Top photograph by Raz Bradley via Unsplash. Used with permission.