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A Vision of Lucy (A Rocky Creek Romance)
by Margaret Brownley

Published: 2011-06-28
Paperback : 336 pages
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Trouble follows Lucy wherever she goes. So does a vision of second chances . . . and love.

Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. Her deepest hope is that her father will see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, whose ...

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Introduction

Trouble follows Lucy wherever she goes. So does a vision of second chances . . . and love.

Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. Her deepest hope is that her father will see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, whose paintings still hang on their walls.

But disaster follows Lucy on every photo assignment: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.

When Lucy meets David Wolf-a rugged, reclusive man who lives on the outskirts of town-she thinks she can catch the attention of the town with his photograph. She doesn't count on her feelings stirring whenever she's near him.

Two things happen next that forever change the course of Lucy's life. But will these events draw her closer to God or push her further away? And how will David accept this new vision of Lucy?

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Excerpt

Rocky Creek, Texas
1882
Drat!” Another skirt ruined. Lucy Fairbanks straddled a branch of the sprawling sycamore tree and arranged her torn skirt as modestly as possible. Everything she owned, except for her Sunday-go-to-meeting best, was either patched or hopelessly tattered. At least she hadn’t ruined her stockings, having left them at the base of the tree along with her high-button shoes. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the publisher:

1. Lucy believed the camera could see things often missed by the human eye. This proved true when she discovered something surprising about herself. Have you ever looked at a photograph and discovered something new about yourself or others?
2. Having your photograph taken in the 19th and early 20th centuries was serious business. A person might have only one photograph taken in a lifetime. How has the ease of taking pictures today changed your view of picture taking? Do you think we place more or less value on photographs today? Was there ever a time that you felt a camera was intrusive?
3. As a child David was taught that God was harsh and unforgiving. How did your childhood view of God influence your faith? What misconceptions did you have to overcome to grow in your faith?
4. Lucy’s plan to be a newspaper photographer met with one failure after another. Still, she persisted until, at last, she discovered God’s true plan for her. What are some of the ways that God has revealed his plan for your life?
5. Pastor Wells said that prejudice was a quick way to form an opinion without getting to know someone. Have you ever changed your mind about someone after forming an initial opinion? Was the way you came to regard the person more favorable or less so?
6. Ma believed that every pot has a lid, which is way of saying that there was the right man for every woman. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
7. Gaining acceptance is a major theme of the book. David, Lucy, Timber Joe, Barrel, Lee Wong, and even Old Man Appleby (by his own admission) faced some sort of discrimination. John Saltmarsh wrote: “The more we love any that are not as we are, the less we love as men and the more as God.” In what ways can we apply this to everyday life?
8. One of the themes of the book is abandonment. David was left on the mission steps as an infant. Lucy felt that her father deserted her emotionally. Describe a time that you felt either physically or emotionally abandoned. In what ways did it affect you?
9. Lucy was deeply touched when David recognized her photographs as art. Has there ever been a time when someone failed to appreciate, acknowledge, or validate your achievements? How did you overcome this?
10. As a child David assumed the boys meant to do him harm. It wasn’t until years later that he learned the truth. Think of a hurtful incident from your childhood. Do you now have a different understanding as to how or why it happened, or does your original impression remain the same?
11. Lucy chased the white stallion much as David chased the box taken from him as a child. Both horse and box remained elusive. Has there ever been a time when something you wanted seemed so close but yet so far away? What do you think God is trying to teach us at such times?
12. After a long and tedious battle, the 19th Amendment was finally ratified in 1920, giving woman the right to vote on a national level (almost fifty years after women were able to vote in Wyoming). Why do you think it took so long? Do you think groups like the Suffra-Quilters helped or hindered the cause? How did war slow the process?
13. In what ways was guilt manifested in the men responsible for putting David on that boat? Has there ever been a time that you felt guilty for something you did or didn’t do?
14. Neither Lucy nor Caleb shared their father’s hopes and dreams for them. In what ways can a parent’s aspirations for a child help or hinder?
15. How much influence do you think David’s plight had in Lucy’s decision to work for women’s rights?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

A Note from Margaret:

Thank you for your interest in my upcoming new release A Vision of Lucy. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. The story takes place in 1886 and deals with love, loss and forgiveness—themes that are just as relevant today as they were in the Old West.

The idea for Lucy Fairbanks was sparked by an advertisement in an old newspaper. Julia Shannon of San Francisco took the family portrait to new heights when she shockingly advertised herself as a daguerreotypist and midwife.

Lucy doesn’t deliver babies but she does take photographs—no easy task for anyone in the 19th century, let alone a woman. Lucy is determined to capture the “perfect” picture and she’s not about to let an intriguing stranger like David Wolf and his long-held secrets stop her. Photographs can reveal more than they hide and David and the little town of Rocky Creek are about to find out that anything can happen when posing for Lucy—and usually does.

As for me, my writing career began, and ended, early. I wrote my first book in fifth grade—a mystery without an ending. Unimpressed with my essay on why I wanted to be a writer my eighth grade English teacher not only flunked me but suggested I not even think about a career as a writer.

To learn how a church picnic changed my life and helped me to realize my dream of becoming a writer, checkout my “homestead” at margaretbrownley.com. You’ll also find recipes created by my chef daughter, more sage advice for photographers and a fantastic new reader contest.

Until next time,

Margaret

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