Monday, October 10 Jo Virden, author of “My Darling Dorothy,” visited the Hastings Public Library. Hastings was one of the stops on Virden’s Nebraska book tour, which began in early October. Virden describes “My Darling Dorothy” as “a timeless love story that transcends both hard times and the brutal impact of war.” The novel revolves around Virden’s mother, Dorothy, who wrote to two men on the battlefield of World War II. One man, Jack, is Dorothy’s husband. The other man, Tommie, is “just a friend” of Dorothy’s; owever, the letters he wrote to Dorothy seemed like much more than a friendship to Virden.
Virden’s fictional novel was inspired by this tale of Tommie, Jack and Dorothy. When Virden’s mother passed away, Virden read through a box of letters her mother had left for her. She discovered that her mother had been writing to not only her husband, Jack, but also another man, introduced as Tommie. Both men were fighting in World War II at the time, and both men were madly in love with Dorothy. “My Darling Dorothy” follows the stories of all three characters, including many excerpts from the letters themselves.
Virden’s presentation at the Hastings Public Library focused on the motivation behind writing her book. Audience members had opportunities to ask questions, listen to excerpts, and purchase a copy of her book while attending this visit. Virden encouraged those in attendance to hang on to the letters their parents had given to them, and to continue telling their stories.
One Hastings College student, McKenna Reed, had the chance to read Virden’s book over the summer.
Although the novel may be better suited towards older readers, Reed believes college students can still benefit from the story.
“It was definitely aimed towards an older audience,” Reed said. “To other college students, it’s interesting. Otherwise, I did recommend it to my grandmother!”
Virden’s book tour will continue for the rest of October, as she continues to share her story with those around her.