Here’s a snapshot of Fifty-Three Weeks, my debut novel available at Woods Hall Gallery in 2023:
A successful career in finance made Noel Garraty rich and cultivated his taste for the good life. With a beautiful family, success (and deep roots on Madeline Island!) he has everything he could ask for. But he changes careers at the top of his game, and we find him in an idyllic Midwestern town— as a minister. His picture-perfect life is up-ended, as he’s confronted by a troubled world that neither he nor his community are eager to embrace. When his leadership is threatened–and his entrepreneurial instincts kick in—he crafts an outrageous, out-of-the-box vision that might save his church and his career . . . if it doesn’t ruin him first. Fifty-Three Weeks is a compelling and heartfelt spiritual journey that will challenge you in all the right places. Noel’s life may not turn out as he’d hoped, but there’s hope for others the world considers hopeless, and even the hardest of hearts may be softened in the process.
There must have been a reason for taking that creative writing class in college. Maybe I already had the writer’s bug; I don’t remember. What I do remember is writing a paper for a psychology class. The assignment: describe my own theory of personality. I still have the paper, dated May 19, 1967. I began with this: “Only a fool would chase a rainbow.” That’s it. Chasing rainbows was my metaphor for the elusiveness of human personality. My professor loved the paper and gave me an “A”. I loved preparing it, and I sensed that with a little effort, I could write outside the box. I was hooked.
Ever since, I’ve loved the challenge of not just writing, but crafting something worth reading. A “hobby” through my working years, in retirement it’s my primary activity. Inspiration sneaks up on me: late at night or early in the morning. Reading a magazine or in the shower. I find joy in translating an idea into read-worthy text. Years later, I still thank that professor for his unanticipated impact on my life, when I discovered that writing can be more than chasing rainbows.
I was honored to serve as Pastor at St. John’s Church, 1987-88, 1989-95. We’re regular Island visitors, with many Island friends both residents and summer people. My late wife’s (and ultimately, my own) final resting place is in Greenwood Cemetery. I’ve been a member of Woods Hall since 2022. I love the authenticity of Woods Hall: its mission, its artists, and its substantial role in life on the Island. Find me on the web: I blog at dalestohreauthor.com or on Facebook: Dale Stohre, Author and Between Sundays.
What one Reader says about the book:
In the Acknowledgements, the Author is careful to state that “the story in this book is an imagined world, not a remembered one.” I believe him, but so many pieces of this “imagined story” are played out in real life hundreds or thousands of times every day, which is what makes it so readable, enjoyable, and impactful. I found myself relating the story (stories) to known situations, and known people – and it challenged me to see social and faith issues in a better light. To progressive readers, you will find a hero reborn in the lead character, Noel Garraty. Watching him transform during the book is inspiring. To conservative readers, you will be drawn again to see beyond stereotypes and look into the faces and hearts of individuals. To all readers, you’ll find it’s a call to action and to make a difference.