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Sonnets in Waking Moments by Joszann St John

Published on Friday, January 31, 2014 by

The onset of the Great Depression beginning in 1929 and the subsequent World War Two was a period fraught by turmoil and uncertainty. On the world stage different political ideologies vied for dominance while the devastated world economy needed a permanent solution. It is against this backdrop of instability and crisis that Sonnets in Waking Moments unfold. Set in Canada and New York City, Sonnets in Waking Moments recounts the challenges of living and loving during the Great Depression. From Toronto’s Junction neighborhood to a convent in New York City, the characters are larger than life. Their individual stories create many memorable and inspiring moments. The novel captures the essence of social relationships and the culture that would eventually shape the years following the preceding decade. Defining moments include the first royal visit in 1938 by a reigning monarch to Canada and the lasting legacy of a rich and vibrant immigrant heritage as seen in the Irish history of New York City. Join Anna Agnelli, Ralph, Viola, Frank, and other personalities as they journey through the turbulent decades of the 1930s and 1940s in Sonnets in Waking Moments.

What are the main themes of your book?

A work of fiction presents with many elements. Readers come from every walk of life and so they identify with different themes in a story. While Sonnets in Waking Moments largely covers the decades of the 1930s, numerous periods of the 1900s are highlighted. Following on the heels of the Depression, was World War Two. Significant themes include love, family, society, women, relationships, class and status, immigration, and the effects of wartime.

Who or what inspired your story?

I’ve always been passionate about women’s issues and stories. Both of my novels feature strong female characters. Women often have to make difficult choices, and so I want to celebrate womanhood, especially the champions of yesteryear. It is their struggles that have largely defined and impacted the twenty-first century woman. My mother Bernadine is one of the strongest women I know, my work is an ode to her winning personality, even in the face of much adversity. Writing has given me a voice, and as I connect and share with other women. I want to use this platform to help change the world for women in more meaningful ways.

What do you like best about your primary characters?

I like strong and complex characters. Anna Agnelli one of the story’s heroines, encountered some of the harsher realities of living. While she was scarred by her experiences, they did not totally destroy her. Viola Agnelli, like her mother Anna, is on a journey of self discovery, by examining her young life, she is able to forgive the past and move into her future. I also like Frank, he is complex and multilayered. Initially he comes across as very brash and insensitive but later in the novel readers get to experience his back-story and he eventually redeems himself towards the end of the novel.

What are their worst peculiarities?

Sometimes when I write, the characters imprint themselves on my subconscious. So I present them as they would like to be portrayed. Frank has two noticeable traits; one is in his irregular gait. When Anna is faced with uncertainly and stress overwhelms her, she shuts down and allows others to talk her into certain situations.

How does your main character evolve?

When the novel begins, Viola is a little girl. A mere babe, her eventual separation from family, and her life and work in the convent, chronicles her journey to self awareness. Viola falls in love and when she marries her life comes full circle as she solidifies her role in the tradition of women.

What’s the principal message you want to send to your audience?

The thirties was a turbulent decade, marked by a decline in the world economy, the scaling down impacted many. Though some wealthy families maintained the status quo, others suffered through the hallmarks of poverty. In today’s economy, with the markets fluctuating, many in society are experiencing similar rumbles. Sonnets in Waking Moments connects us to the past; the lessons of the Great Depression are still relevant today.

The reader gets to experience a bygone era; the world of the thirties was a unique time. People had to rely on each other, and subsistence farming was a huge feature in many communities. It is through the characters eyes, that we get a glimpse into the decade of the thirties and the Subsequent World War Two. The reader will experience the struggles, the joys, and how people coped with difficult choices. More importantly though, Sonnets in Waking Moments captures the enduring spirit of humanity, and seeks to empower a whole new generation of the historical novel.  History has a way of reminding us of our humanness.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about your book?

With author Giftus John’s permission I reproduce his review on Amazon here:

“When I first saw the book and title “Sonnets in Waking Moments,” I thought that this was a book of poems. However, I was pleasantly surprised, as I read on and found the novel to be a moving account of life during the Great Depression spanning the US and Canada. Joszann did an excellent job in researching the period and in putting together a fascinating story line in she which uses her characters to bring out the difficulties faced by people in the US and Canada during that time.

In Sonnets in the Waking Moments Joszann shows the tragedies, the difficulties, the human spirit and the will to survive, and the social divide that existed then. A very intriguing account in which Joszann takes the reader along and helps the reader appreciate the life of her characters during that time, as she details what happens in two countries through young Viola and her eventual role in helping to ‘taint’ the bloodline of a prestigious family.

I found Sonnets to be a captivating story of romance, racial division, poverty, social issues, hunger, and the will to survive that kept me reading and wanting to know what next Joszann was going to present to me. Get your copy of this book and journey along with Joszann and her characters in “Sonnets in Waking Moments” and experience life in during one of the most grueling periods, which will forever remain etched in American history.”

Where can we purchase it?

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at all major bookshops in the United States.

About the Author

Joszann St John writes across many genres and has published multiple titles. Her newest novel, Sonnets in Waking Moments is a women’s fiction story about life during The Great Depression.

A prolific blogger and poet, her work is featured online and in many forums. Joszann is a passionate advocate of non secular topics, she credits her faith as the major influence in overcoming some of her previous challenges.

A new and unique voice she is dedicated to inspiring and empowering others through her extensive body of work.

Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


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