Sons & Daughters
With her husband freshly buried, Karoline Olsen now shoulders the twin burdens of raising her large brood of children, including the one she carries in her belly, and managing a difficult farm life by herself in the Loess Hills. Spanning 1905 to 1933, the second installment of the Olsen series brings major world events—WWI, the Spanish flu, prohibition, suffrage, and the Great Depression—to Iowa, impacting the lives of the Soldier inhabitants, including the Olsens. Karoline struggles to keep her children safe and close to their Norwegian roots in the face of pressure to remarry again. She can only watch as one by one her adult children are forced to endure the difficult choices in life, love, marriage, and business, leaving each of them with scars that may never heal. The Lunatic, the Gambler, the Whore, the Teacher, the Entrepreneur, and the Farmer are all titles affixed to these once-innocent children of Kristoffer and Karoline Olsen. A continuing chronicle of the Olsen family's survival, Sons and Daughters is the tale of a widowed woman fighting to preserve a legacy, carve her own path in the midst of tragedy and historic hardship, and guide six first-generation American children who are discovering their own identities in a rapidly changing world. Ann Hanigan Kotz's second novel of love, loss, violence, and identity once again connects her own family's ancestors with a vision from the past.
Ann Hanigan Kotz is a retired teacher who resides in Adel, Iowa, with her husband, John. She was born and raised in Denison, Iowa, on a farm southwest of town with her parents and five siblings. As a girl, she spent her summers reading at the Carnegie Library and spent time with her maternal grandparents, Glenn and Alice Olson, on their farm, visiting other Norwegian families in the Loess Hills area. Ann remembers well her grandparents taking her to Soldier, Iowa, to visit her great-grandfather, Tingvald Olson. The smell of his pipe and the sound of his fiddle found their way into this story. Ann holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master of Arts in Education from Viterbo University. She began a career in education in 1988 and taught high school English for 33 years, later teaching college-level classes to high school students who themselves wanted to become teachers. As a teacher, Ann is passionate about helping students become better writers and readers. She credits her own writing ability to both studying and teaching the craft and considers education to be one of the most honorable professions.