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Friendship and hope rise from the ashes of family dementia and alcoholism in Linda Hutsell-Manning's debut novel, That Summer in Franklin, Second Story Press, 2011.
Hannah Norcroft, single and a Toronto highschool teacher, rushes home to Franklin, her mother in hospital, the diagnosis, dementia. Hannah realizes she must admit her to the local nursing home.
Colleen Pinser who never left Franklin is married with five children, her husband Art a local hardware store owner. Colleen knows her widowed father's alcoholism is in crisis stage and she has already signed the nursing home admittance papers.
Forty years ago, in 1955, Hannah and Colleen worked as summer waitresses at the thriving Britannia Hotel. Hotel kitchen helper, Charlie Elliot's death was considered an accident. Hannah and Colleen knew otherwise but fearing they would lose their jobs, neither revealed what each overheard that afternoon. As well, each believed she was the only one who knew.
Early in 1996, as Hannah worries about her mother's dementia and Colleen deals with her dad's alcoholic temperament, a keen Franklin Standard reporter, writing articles about the Britannia Hotel's history, thinks Charlie Elliot's 1955 death is suspicious. His interview with Hannah and Colleen forces them to make decisions and to deal with their hidden past.
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