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Bertha Snider, a farm girl living in Brown County, Indiana in the early 20th century, becomes enamored with her neighbor Frank, the only son in the mysterious Kelly family.  Their hasty marriage produces a single child, the bright and beautiful Katherine, who becomes the light of Bertha's life.  Over the course of the story, the mother/daughter relationship changes in surprising ways.

"HOLD ME ONE LAST TIME is a poignant...look at the life of an ordinary Indiana housewife.... If the reader needs a good cry, this book will do it, but there are strands of hope and optimism threaded throughout.... The novel's rural historical setting is distinctive, while the featured characters come across as individuals."

--The Booklife Prize

Lois Jean Thomas grew up in Brown County, Indiana, the setting for this story.  She considers this work to be "a labor of love, a token of affection for the place of my childhood."

As a writer, it is both my privilege and my obligation to tell the stories that flow from my heart.  No murder mysteries, spine-tingling thrillers, or salacious romances—just stories about ordinary people struggling with problems like yours and mine.  Stories about hope and redemption, stories that warm the soul and promote understanding of one's deepest self.  I love creating the flawed, quirky characters with whom my readers deeply identify. 

Bookblogger GraceJReviewerLady describes my novel 


"Terrific Story, Beautifully Written."

To read her full review, click the button below.

"Thomas creates vibrant, sharply etched characters who come with plenty of rancorous baggage but manage to unpack enough of it to regain sympathy for one another and themselves.  They come alive through the author's gift of crafting distinctive voices in well-observed dialogue, emerging through their own reflections and the refracted perspectives of their loved ones.  Thomas writes in a relaxed, understated prose that conveys the heavy emotional impact of family conflicts without histrionics and melodrama .... A cleareyed but warm family saga of buried recriminations and the struggle for reconciliation."--Kirkus Reviews.

My novel, A WEEKEND WITH FRANCES, was named to Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2017.  The book earned a Kirkus Star in January 2017 and was selected as an Indie Book of the Month in April 2017.