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Happiness Is No Vague Dream by Dona Lee Seacat

Happiness Is No Vague Dream

by Dona Lee Seacat

312 pages
Pregnant and disowned at 16, Callie finds purpose and love.

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Category: Fiction:Young Adult
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About the Book
In 1964, at age 16, just months after her mother dies, Callie Seymour gets pregnant. She wants to keep the baby but no one supports her in this, not her boyfriend, father, sister or doctor. Having a child out of wedlock at this time and in this place, is a shame, a sin against God and propriety. Her family disowns her. She is sent to the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Home for Wayward Girls in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is to give birth and sign away her child for adoption. At the Home, Callie makes a couple of close friends. A social worker becomes her foster mother and helps her put her life together.

Callie names her baby, Elisabeth. Just before the child is taken away for adoption, a sympathetic nurse takes a photo of the baby and gives it to Callie. The shot captures Elisabeth’s birthmark, a small strawberry shape on her neck.

Each year since her daughter’s birth Callie has placed a letter into her child’s official adoption file in the hopes that they can one day reestablish contact.

In Part II, which takes place in 1973, Callie has matured. She has put herself through college and become a reporter for a local newspaper. Callie still desperately wants to find her daughter but she suppresses her emotions in order to concentrate on her career.

She writes a series of feature articles on the lives of immigrants in the Kansas City area and the struggle to integrate local schools. Callie focuses her attention on a high school in a low-income neighborhood with a high percentage of children of immigrant parents. The principal of this school challenges her to become more informed about other parts of the world. She becomes friendly with a Colombian family featured in one of her stories. That friendship, combined with her increasing fluency in Spanish, lead her to travel to Colombia, South America.

Callie's trip to Colombia turns out to be a major turning point in her life. She meets a Colombian man, they fall in love and move back to Kansas together.

Within months of her return to Kansas, Callie finally realizes that happiness is no vague dream: It depends on being courageous and persistent, loving your work, and having a clear conscience.

 

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About the Author
Dona Lee Seacat Retired after more than forty years, Dona Lee Seacat has taught English and English as a Second Language to high school and college students and to adults and prisoners. She has been writing since her teens: poetry, newspaper articles, and journals. Happiness Is No Vague Dream is her first novel.

 

 

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