~An excerpt from Evelyn’s forthcoming novel: We weren’t allowed to have children. We weren’t allowed to give flesh to a new creation. We weren’t allowed to love, not like that. Unless we broke every rule in the book. Unless he died to the priesthood. Unless I lived in the shadows, shrouded alive.
St. Croix Valley, 1977
Gifted teacher Meg Joyce has a simple plan: marry well, make a home, guide her students with developmental delays. And, overcome the taboos racked up by her wrong-side-of-the-tracks family. She’s almost there. Until her fiancé caves to his dad’s disapproval, and a teacher strike threatens her toehold on security. In a world where women’s opportunities are limited, Meg takes a job visiting the homebound for St. Michael the Archangel parish—parishes don’t go on strike.
Far from landing in a holy refuge, Meg finds herself caught in the crosshairs between a chameleon-like priest from prayer group who comes onto her like a barfly, threatening worse, and the salt of the earth priest who turns her world upside down when they fall in love.
Against the backdrop of a Catholic Church reeling from Vatican II’s changes to long-held traditions, and secular impacts from the sexual revolution, Meg grapples with the underbelly of an institution she once trusted, a crisis of faith in God, and a reckoning with her dreams.
Midwest Review, 2nd Place, Poetry Contest, University of Wisconsin-Madison Writers’ Institute, 2015
Creative Wisconsin Anthology, Honorable Mention, Jade Ring Contest, Wisconsin Writers Association, 2019
Vote Like an Inchworm, Medium.com, 2020
Performed at Milwaukee’s Irish Fest, Summerfest lakefront grounds
The Magic Fiddle
The Fairy Ring
Shanahan and the King
The Knight of Terrible Valley
Our Bodies Stay Home, Our Imaginations Run Free: A Covid-19 Story for Children
by Lora Hyler
Reviewed for Wisconsin Writers Association online blog, 2020
We live immersed in storied histories of people and places. My work is to write about them.