It’s not often I use my blog to urge you to buy a book that I believe is a “must read” for everyone. Today I’m doing that. The book is Love A Foot Above the Ground by Anna Celeste Burke, and yes, that badge is correct. It was recently voted by readers as one of 50 self-published books worth reading.
It’s not only charming, it beautifully deals with the subject of love and loss – for a young woman. I was so taken with the book that I contacted the author and asked her if I might write a blog and if she would let me know how Bernadette came about. Was she someone in Ms. Burke’s past or a created character. It really doesn’t matter, because she’s simply one of the best characters I’ve run across, and I read a lot!!!
I invite you to read her thoughts on Bernadette and when you’re finished with that, buy the book on Amazon. Believe me, you won’t regret it! Here’s the link: http://ow.ly/RswZO
Without further ado, here’s Ms. Burke’s thoughts on Bernadette:
Rich or poor, we should all have a Bernadette in our lives.
Love a Foot above the Ground is Bernadette’s story. She’s a major character in the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series. That series features uber-rich Jessica Huntington as a reluctant amateur sleuth. It whisks together mystery and a family saga with themes found in women’s fiction—infidelity, betrayal, divorce, addiction, family and relationship problems. The biggest mystery for Jessica to solve is how her privileged, well-planned life has turned into an utter disaster.
Bernadette is the leavening agent, a key ingredient that adds spice to this series. A mother figure, she’s the heart of the home where Jessica grew up, even though Bernadette’s not related to any of them. Hired to manage the estate before Jessica’s birth, Bernadette soon became much more. The Huntingtons are blessed with good things—wealth, status, education, an illustrious genealogy, but as in so many families that seem to have it all, there is something missing. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, good mental health, morality or ethics, important things that Bernadette seems to possess in spades.
Tough as nails, resourceful, and resilient, Bernadette’s capacity for good is disproportionate to her physical size: she’s tiny. Her influence is disproportionate to her social standing as measured by any of the metrics used to track status, place people in a ‘class,’ or locate them on a hierarchy of power and success. She’s a household manager, and to many that’s synonymous with ‘the maid.’ The maid she is not! Bernadette has a profound sense of service and duty without being subservient. She’s kind and funny, but fierce too when making sure Jessica faces the problems in her life. In book 2 of the Jessica Huntington series, A DEAD SISTER, she tells Jessica: “The worst kind of truth is better than the best lie.”
Love a Foot above the Ground is a glimpse into Bernadette’s past, the circumstances that forged her character, and the bond she formed with Jessica. Bernadette’s story reflects a profound faith and a love of family, nurtured in a traditional setting: a small fishing village on the Sea of Cortez in the 1960s. In her world, “love lifts you up about a foot above the ground,” she tells Jessica, and “even the shadows cast by love are heaven sent.”
She knows what she’s talking about. Bernadette’s world came crashing down around her at sixteen. Those events might have crushed many of us. Not Bernadette. In this coming of age story there’s romance, adventure, mystery, and tragic loss, but Bernadette prevails, an inspiration to us all.
Where does this character come from? Elements of Bernadette recount heroic female figures from my favorite childhood books. Heroines in real life, too, who showed up in school auditoriums to tell us that girls had the right to dream big! She’s also a testament to my chance encounters with every day saints. I’m talking about women working as teachers, school nurses, sales clerks, librarians, counselors; tucked away in unglamorous nooks and crannies, offering small gestures of comfort and support we too often take for granted.
Is there a real Bernadette out there somewhere? I hope so—hordes of them, in fact.
Where to find the book:
AMAZON WORLDWIDE: http://smarturl.it/LOVEABOVE
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Thanks, Ms. Burke.
I’m a real fan of this lady’s writing, having read everything she’s written and thoroughly enjoyed each one, but I have to tell you, Bernadette will stay with you. If nothing else, put her in the corner of your mind. Her wisdom will serve you well!