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The Ticket

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Destined to a life of servitude, Karl Kessel, a turn-of-the-century German immigrant from a Danube Swabian settlement in Surtschin, Yugoslavia receives an unexpected gift of The Ticket, to America.  Grasping his dream he leaves behind his young wife, Katja and two small sons. Karl boards the KronPrinz Wilheim and sails for a country he knows nothing about, only that it promises the opportunity he covets.  When he arrives in America, he becomes consumed and obsessed with the unwavering desire to be the owner of a farm—to be his own man. But first he must survive an unspeakable horror.

In 1906, when Katja Kessel steps from the train with their three small sons, she faces the inhospitable wilds of rural Wyoming; with ashen face she turns 360 degrees and questions, “Is this where I am to spend the rest of my life?”

Karl lives and fulfills his dream in America while his wife and family bear the brunt of his unbending determination and seething inner demons.  Katja realizes she will not have the same opportunity to live her own dreams, and at the end-- her life resembles nothing more than a cored apple.

The Kessel's life in America is anything but easy or expected.  They emigrated from a long-established German village of culture and deep seated religious belief, to a newly settled, uncultured, coarse region of rural Wyoming. They lived their life together as they had promised; they lived through and with all of its hopes, dreams, deprivation, broken promises, disenchantment, heartbreak, and unbearable betrayal.  In the end, Katja becomes empowered taking control of her own destiny and dreams; but is it too late?  Their last years together and apart are unexpected and difficult to contemplate.

The Ticket is an unforgettable and touching account of a true American family, filled with ambition, promises, love and loss, and ultimately, a legacy of survival. It is the first in a trilogy of novels pertaining to extended family sagas; each novel twists and turns through generations of carefully researched historical events and personal circumstances.

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Seed of the Volga & The Ticket

 

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"Last weekend I had my list of things to do...clean, do windows etc. Well....forget all that. I started your book and have done nothing but read. What a great book." - Ruthann, Cheyenne, Wyoming

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