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Nancy's Notes - June 18, 2015

"Ashley’s War” by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, “Girl At War” by Sara Novic.

        I was pleasantly surprised last Friday by the turnout at our open house. We had several former Clarionites as well as some of the “locals” stop by and reminisce. We had tours as well as displays of pictures of faces from the past, former business buildings, and some memorabilia. I will be leaving up the displays for another week or so. Feel free to stop in and take a look.
        If you didn’t go to the cemetery walk on Sunday, you missed a great event! A bus load left the Courthouse parking lot with many more attendees meeting us at the cemetery. Those participating enjoyed two hours of remembering favorite community members of the past and perhaps one or two surprising tales. It was sponsored by the Wright County Genealogical Society. They recruited several volunteers to pull off the event. The group is always on the lookout for new members. If this is of interest to you, simply show up at the library at 1:30 on the fourth Saturday of the month. They have taken the summer off and will resume in the fall.
        New in May was, “Ashley’s War” by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. In 2010, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command created Cultural Support Teams, a pilot program to put women on the battlefield alongside Green Berets and Army Rangers on sensitive missions in Afghanistan. The idea was that women could access places and people that had remained out of reach, and could build relationships woman to woman, in ways that male soldiers in a conservative, traditional country could not. Though officially banned from combat, female soldiers could be attached to different teams. The author follows 1st  Lt.  Ashley White, who would become the first Cultural Support Team member killed in action and the first CST remembered on the Army Special Operations Memorial Wall of Honor alongside the Army Rangers with whom she served.
        A new novel, “Girl At War” is written by Sara Novic. Living in the town of Zagreb in 1991 Ana Jurić is a carefree ten-year-old. She is living with her family in a small apartment in Croatia’s capital when civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, splintering Ana’s idyllic childhood. Daily life is altered by food rations and air raid drills, and soccer matches are replaced by sniper fire. Neighbors grow suspicious of one another, and Ana’s sense of safety starts comes to an end. When the war arrives at her doorstep, Ana must find her way in a dangerous world. Living in New York in 2001, Ana is now a college student in Manhattan. Though she’s tried to move on from her past, she can’t escape her memories of war. Haunted by the events that forever changed her family, Ana returns to Croatia after a decade away, hoping to make peace with the place she once called home.
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