Nelly is a quiet, reserved and delightful lady, originally from Holland, who now divides her time between the Rio Grande Valley, TX and Manitoba, Canada.
I was touched by Nelly's tears of happiness when her daughter surprised her by driving the 100+ miles from Corpus Christi to present Nelly with a dozen beautiful roses in honor of Nelly's first event upon the publication of her debut novel.
The book tells the story of three generations of a family, who first escaped from Nazi occupied Holland, and eventually emigrated to Vancouver, Canada. Through all the joys and hardships of their lives, music and art sustained them. "Musical Voyage" celebrates all that is good in people and family, and does so in a way that testifies to Nelly's love of language.
As Nelly describes the book:
Colette at first lives in wartime Holland and England then moves to Vancouver, Canada where she and her husband establish their family. As a teacher and later on a writer of children’s books she needs an enormous imagination as well as a good work-ethic. Both help her deal with the loss of family as does her music.This was a special event and it was truly rewarding to see the smile, pride, and sense of accomplishment on this lovely lady's face as she discussed her characters and the importance of the themes in the novel on her life. It was one of those times when I truly felt the joy of being a bookseller.
Her daughter Ashley who follows in her mother’s footsteps is a gifted musician. She uses her abilities to teach music. Through her music and her work she is able to deal with her heartache when she thinks she has lost the love of her life. With discipline and energy she keeps striving for her goals and attains them. Though not exactly a feminist, Ashley shows that women can reach the top of the ladder through hard work and strength of mind.
Nelly Venselaar swore to see the world and managed to do that. She has played piano all her life and started to write poetry when she retired. She worked as a teacher while raising a family and earning a university degree.
I can't wait to read her next novel which she tells me is about a family that buys a bookstore!