Marshfield (OnFocus) – Local author Lori Oestreich’s debut novel, Darling, All My Love, will feature the Governor William H. Upham House located in Marshfield, Wisconsin.
Constructed in 1880, the Upham House is the restored home of former governor William Henry Upham. It is now listed in the Local, State, and National Register of Historic Places and serves as the center for the North Wood County Historical Society. Its historic significance makes it a great backdrop for Oestreich’s novel, set in 1930s “Hub City,” loosely based on Marshfield.
The novel is inspired by the story of Oestreich’s grandparents. The romance follows, “two star-crossed lovers in a small Midwestern town who attempt to defy 1930s social and religious prejudices along with their family’s oppositions,” according to Oestreich.
She notes that she read over three hundred and fifty letters her grandfather sent to her grandmother to get a sense for their personalities and what life was like in the 1930s.
Because the main characters are only loosely based on her grandparents, she wanted to make sure she honored their memory with the title of the book, Darling, All My Love.
“The title absolutely is inspired by my grandfather and the letters he wrote. He called my grandmother ‘Darling’ and signed his letters ‘All My Love.’ I thought the title was perfect for the 1930s era and an honorable tribute to my grandfather,” she said.
When asked about why she chose the Upham House for the cover of her novel, Oestreich noted, “I had visited the Upham House many times and love the style of the home, along with its rich history of Marshfield.”
The cover will feature a photograph of Oestreich’s grandmother and a letter written by her grandfather in front of the window overlooking the Upham House’s rose garden. Oestreich notes, “the window, the wallpaper, and the rose garden beyond are a perfect vision of what I hoped for my cover.”
Kim Krueger, Coordinator of the North Wood County Historical Society, said it is an honor for the Upham House to be featured so prominently on Oestreich’s novel.
“When people think about history, specifically [around Marshfield], this is one of the places that comes to mind,” she said, noting that being featured on the cover will “help retain some of the pride of what the community has been and will continue to be. For Lori to have asked us, it was just an honor.”
Darling, All My Love is slated to come out in late summer or early fall and is the first in a series of four upcoming novels. The book will be available in both print and ebook versions on Amazon. Oestreich also has a website where she posts updates about the novel lorioestreich.com.
Jessica Purgett is a recent graduate of Mount Mercy University. In her free time, she runs The Mark Literary Review, an online magazine she founded in 2018.
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