I am completely blown away by the support of “The Girls of Haviland” has received since the print edition became available on Amazon on September 14. Please be sure to write a review on Amazon if you enjoy the book. Thanks to the help of my friend Lynn, the book is now available at the Brewster, Carmel, and Mahopac Public Libraries, and I’m in the process of arranging book talks. I’m also trying to organize book talks at the Brewster, Carmel, and Mahopac High School libraries.
I’m about 100 pages into the sequel, which finds Jay starting her junior year at Haviland in very different living quarters! Take a peek at the opening scene here.
THE GIRLS OF HAVILAND : YEAR TWO
By Deborah Rafferty Oswald
Carmel, New York
September 22, 1919
“Who are all these people? I don’t recognize anyone!” I strained my neck in the pouring rain to see around the car in front of us. “We’ve been stuck in this line for over an hour, and I’m late for check in!”
“Traffic’s stopped dead far as I can see with the fog coming off the lake.” Henry jumped down off the rig. “Mulligan’s getting restless, and Maisie looks like a wet mop.” The horses snorted and stamped their hooves in the puddles on the rutted road. “This weather’s no good for their joints.”
“Oh God! Don’t look Henry!” I watched two girls jump out of a car and hold a blanket in front of an older woman who proceeded to relieve herself on the shore of Lake Gleneida.
Henry smirked. “Classy bunch, these Haviland folks.”
I climbed down from the rig, the wind and rain slapping my face. “I can’t wait any more. I’ll just grab my stuff and walk the rest of the way. You’re going to be late for church, and you can’t keep the horses out in this weather.”
“You can’t carry everything all the way up to the dorm! Your trunk weighs a ton!” Henry pulled my soaking laundry bag down from the back of the rig.
I gave him a wet hug and a quick kiss. “I’ll manage. I’ll write, I promise!”
My arms felt about ready to fall off by the time I lugged my trunk up to the dorm, where I had to wait on line to sign in at the reception desk. The dark vestibule stunk of wet wool and too many bodies crammed together. My braid dripped water down my back. I dropped my book satchel when it was finally my turn and flexed my fingers, which had turned white from lack of blood circulation.
“What’s going on here, Betty?” I wished Lydia was still here.
“It’s been like this all morning!” She pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose and tucked a strand of frizzy hair behind one ear. “I don’t know where they’ve all come from, and I’m the only RA on duty!”
I grabbed the pen from her hand and dipped it in the inkwell. “Well, I know where I’m going, so I’ll just sign in and leave you to deal with everyone else.” I heaved up my trunk and proceeded down the hall to Florence’s room, where I was looking forward to reliving our summer adventures in Albany.
“Jay, wait!” Betty came from behind the reception desk, leaving the chorus of complaints from the bedraggled line of parents and students.
“Hey!” I swung open the door of our room. “I’m back!”
“Late as usual!” Evangeline Sprague, my obnoxious roommate from sophomore year, was lying on my bed.
“What are you doing here? You left!”
“Mother and I agreed that Wooster Seminary was lacking, so I decided to resume my studies here,” she explained. “Sans Mary Agnes, of course.”
Betty’s flushed face looked about to explode. “I tried to catch you Jay, to let you know there has been a huge increase in students this year, and it’s resulted in a housing shortage.”
“So what?” I said, pushing my trunk alongside Evangeline’s. “Florence and I reserved this room before we left in June!”
“Now Jay, let me explain, ”said Betty. “The new school administration has adopted a first come, first serve policy to try and accommodate everyone. Evangeline was here at 6:00 this morning, and therefore had her pick of rooms. She chose this one!”
“So I’m stuck with the third bed?” I groaned.
Betty scanned her clipboard. “I’m sorry, Jay. That bed was claimed by Helen Starr 7:30 this morning.”
“Helen Starr? Where am I supposed to sleep, on the floor?”
“The early bird gets the worm, Jay.” Evangeline plumped the pillow beneath her greasy head. I forced myself not to grab the pillow and hold it over her face.
Betty tapped the clipboard with her pen, spraying Pacific Blue ink all over my face. “Patience Hall is now completely filled. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. You’ll have to stay at the Fowler House. The Fowler sisters have agreed to board some the overflow of students who have not been able to secure rooms.”
“You mean I can’t live in the dorm?” I felt my lip start to tremble.