Ann Pestotnik

Peace In My Heart

Based on a treasure of real-life letters, this nostalgic reflection of a past generation is woven around those firsthand glimpses into the small town lives of a family in northwest Iowa at the turn of the last century. Founded by immigrants escaping the potato famine of Ireland, hard work, faith, and a little luck turns the town into a prosperous community. Bitsy marries Micky, both children of the founding fathers. They soon have a large family and are living a simple life, thankful for their relative wealth and prominence in the town.

Then in 1929 the stock market crashes. They lose everything, and are forced to leave their beloved hometown and relocate to Ames, Iowa. Bitsy finds work as a cook in a fraternity house, and Micky runs their boarding house. There, Bitsy starts writing letters to her oldest daughter, Maddie, who by then has married and lives in northeast Iowa. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s their story of life, loss, struggles, joy, promise, hope, music, laughter, and love unfold through Bitsy’s letters. We hear how the family celebrates holidays, marriages, and births as the country grapples with World War II and the Great Depression.

The spirit of the family’s deep love is communicated, not in the shorthand of modern technology, but in the thoughtful prose of a mother dedicated to keeping in touch with her children. Through her letters, readers are bound to consider their own lives, and will walk away with the sense of peace in their hearts.


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