The Quiet Room

The meticulously researched novel casts a spotlight on the claustrophobia of small town America, with its farmhands, saloonkeepers, family doctors, and abortionists, and the even smaller microcosm of Zion Church’s congregation and its plethora of widows and women’s benefit societies. It also explores the sweeping events of the times and their impact on Liese's German-American family from the rise of tension and fear preceding the first world war to the widespread loss of work and self-esteem they suffer during the great depression. Amidst this backdrop, Liese turns inward to wage her private battle, seeking solace in the minutiae of everyday life, in music both spiritual and secular, and in baking countless pies and cakes, and eventually in the simple joy of solitude. This deeply moving tale will wrap itself around the hearts and minds of readers who, like its heroine, still search for themselves. 


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View my Pinterest board for a collection of items gathered while researching the 1900-1950 era and for other artifacts that inspired the story:

Inspiration for The Quiet Room
The story of Anneliese Stephens is a work of fiction but was inspired in part by the life and times of my maternal grandmother Christine Alvina Schisler and her family, first and second generation German Americans who settled in Evansville, Indiana in the mid to late 1800s.

 










Praise for The Quiet Room

Rona Simmons, in her novel The Quiet Room, has perfectly captured the feelings and emotions of a woman who has chosen to travel on the difficult road of self-discovery. A reader cannot help but be moved by the story. 
Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, author of Magnolia, Luck of the Draw, and the Lupe Solano mystery series

In this moving and meticulously researched story, Rona Simmons tells the story of a woman from the second-generation, German-immigrant community of Evansville, Indiana.  During the early twentieth century this community finds itself lashed by the sweep of local and global events that leave no one untouched.  Whether you are inspired by strong female protagonists or choose to walk alongside characters who struggle against abuse, loneliness, and loss, this book is worth your time. 
~ Greg Hager, Director, the Willard Library  

"...Set in Evansville, Ind., a town generations of her family called home, this historical novel follows the steps and missteps of Liese Stephens, daughter of an evangelical preacher and his ailing,  passionless wife.  The exquisitely researched novel casts a spotlight on the claustrophobia of small town America with its farmhands, saloonkeepers, family doctors, and abortionists.  It also explores the sweeping events of the times and their impact on Liese's German-American family...
~ PointsNorth Magazine, February 2014
   
Featured in the "What's the Story" column where  authors speak about the inspiration for their published works.  
~ Southern Writers Magazine, July/August 2014