“Over the past few weeks, I have been fascinated while getting to know a most remarkable lady, one Anne Gillis, your beloved Nana.
How fortunate she is to have a grandson who loves her so much, and who did such a remarkable job penning a tribute to her and how she touched the many lives around her.
Your effort reflects so much more than a grandson’s tribute to someone he loved so dearly. Your story is a finely crafted social commentary on the times, the social norms, the hardscrabble life and the oft unheralded influence of dedicated women of those times who worked so hard to hold everything together.
What little you told me about your literary effort prior to asking me to review a copy did nothing to prepare me for its content. This isn’t simply a man recalling his devotion to someone very special in his life: it is a slice of Americana at its intimate, detailed, loving best.
The only time I had the urge to pick up the editor’s blue pen was direct quotes made so many years ago, but then my mind went back to her prolific notes, etc. and I said yes – that was possible. Even if it wasn’t, don’t change anything for fear of breaking the spell. It is a finely crafted narrative and you have the perfect mix of voice, tone and measure. Don’t screw it up!
Well done, Bobby Gillis. There will be a lot of smiles over this one: the broadest will be on the face of a white-haired old darling you called Nana.
Good luck. Thanks for the opportunity to meet such a remarkable lady. ”
— Jack Authelet, former editor of the Foxboro Reporter, author of many published books and Foxboro’s town historian