By Selby Fleming McPhee
The discovery of a forbidden box of letters sends author Selby McPhee on a fascinating and painful journey through her family’s history in the first half of the American twentieth century.
On the box’s lid is a provocative warning: “Personal letters of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Fleming, Jr ~ to be destroyed unopened.”
Born late in the family story, the author opened the box, and now sets the letters in the context of contemporary cultural history of their era, exploring with readers her own questions about her parents’ struggle to succeed in the context of economic hardship and an intense, often troubled marriage.
What tripped them up in their pursuit of the promise America offered in the early 20th century? And what was all the intensity about? Was it love? Were they crazy? Or is that what love is?