Posted by Literary Titan
The Retirement Quilt follows a retiree and recent widow who seeks to make a quilt of his tie collection and meets interesting people along the way that teach him much about life. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
When I decided to retire from full-time work, my colleagues joked about what I would do with all my ties. I had worn ties all my life and to part with them was like destroying a part of my history. I had my first tie from Brooks Brothers in Boston, ties given to me by friends and lovers, ties from my overseas trips to Paris and Rome and ties from Australia.
I discussed this with a dear friend, Maisie, who said I could turn the ties into a quilt, find a new use for them and still retain the memories. I contacted several senior citizen centers and offered to underwrite the costs, including a small payment to the quilters. This proved far more problematic than I thought.
I wanted the quilt to be made by men since a man wore the ties and their history was a man’s history. It then occurred to me that I could write a story about the quilt’s creation by four men.
At the same time, my personal trainer posed a challenge. Complete the book by your birthday, the 28th of July. So in March, I started and did complete the first printed draft in July.
The characters in your story were all varied and interesting. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I wanted my main male characters to be strong individuals in various stages on the road to self-fulfillment and discovery. So I had identified each male character with an Australian actor – Geoffrey Rush as Geoffrey, Russell Crowe as Russell, Barry Otto as Barry and Bryan Brown as Bryan. The main female characters were also strong. Margaret, although dead, plays a role in the lives of all characters. I wanted my characters to experience all the normal emotions of middle-aged men and women and discover love.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
The theme of resurrection dominates the interaction of the four men, and by the end of the book, each finds his path to fulfillment and happiness.
The role of Morton places an important role in the story, not only for its historical significance but for the support it provides all characters.
As Margaret and the Bigelow family demonstrates, the role of heritage and tradition colors the social setting. It is woven into the story as the quilt is being designed and executed.
Finally, the development of friendship and trust is woven into the fabric of the quilt.
What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?
I am completing a book called “The Secrets of Ferncrest,” which traces four generations of a family, their role in Newport, Boston and New York society and the family’s Newport home.” Ferncrest. It is told through the diary entries of the principal characters as transcribed by the grandson and son of the main characters.
It reflects their life from 1900 to 1946 and touches on all the important social, intellectual and political events in the United States. For example, it reflects the reaction to the sinking of the Titanic, the passage of government acts that sought to redistribute wealth and increased the role of government in social welfare programs, the Women’s Suffrage and Settlement House movements, the financial panic of 1929, the Spanish Flu, and two world wars.
I expect to complete the book by the first quarter of 2022.
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Posted by Literary Titan
The Retirement Quilt by Dr Ronald Lee Gaudreau takes us to a small town in Australia called Morton, centering around a small group of people hailing from decades of farmers, entrepreneurs, and teachers. This diverse array of people came together with one unifying task: the creation of a quilt.
The Retirement Quilt begins by following the life of Geoffrey Hamilton as he goes through the motions of his last day as a CEO. We dive into the unspoken aspects of his life, like his bittersweet interactions with his driver and secretary. He’s mourning all the time that has passed while trying to feel excited about his coming future in retirement. He reconnects with a woman named Robyn, a dear friend of his deceased wife Margaret. Together they become intertwined in the creation of a memorial quilt, as it brings grieving and loving people together along the way.
I loved the way this inspiring book approached grief and healing. It was a touching look into the aftermath of a loved one’s passing, and how their lingering influence can continue to make the world a better place even after they’re gone. This book emphasizes community and the lengths we go to as people to make lasting connections, and how powerful these connections can truly be. The story has a lasting message—that no matter where you go or who you meet along the way, love is always possible.
While I enjoyed having varied dialogue from different sorts of people throughout the story, I felt that the structure could have been improved. I found that it read like an interview at times because of the dialogue, and I would have rather seen everyone’s conversations blended into the story itself to give it a more narrative driven story feel.
The Retirement Quilt by Dr Ronald Lee Gaudreau is a wistful and impassioned story with an inspirational message. It’s an important reminder that I think everyone can benefit from; even if you feel alone, change is a positive thing.
Pages: 257 | ASIN: B07VLKPQ3G
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