The Bonus

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Lucky Dime Press, Oct 15, 2010 - Depressions - 397 pages
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The Bonus: a novel of the Great Depression by Georgia Lowe ,is the culmination of 10 years research. It also comes from a desire to tell the story of the 20,000+Bonus marchers-including Georgia's parents and their cross-country trek to DC to make their voices heard.

These WWI veterans & hardy souls,in the midst of the Depression and fueled largely by their frustrations & determination- stood up to a non-responsive government & President Hoover. The Bonus tells an enriching story of a little known yet pivotal event in US 20th century history. A strong read for veterans, their families, those interested in social movements and general fiction readers. Journalist Will & actress Bonnie's engaging love story is masterfully woven around and through the historical events. Many will also get haunting echoes of Hoover/FDR and its relevance to today.

 

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About the author (2010)

My parents, Don and Bernice Hardy, were Bonus Marchers; their stories loomed large in my young life. They told me about the hot summer of 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression when they joined 20,000 destitute WWI veterans in a march to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress for passage of a bill that would pay their wartime service bonuses immediately. Years later, they were still outraged when they talked about how President Hoover ordered the forced eviction of the peaceful, unarmed Bonus Marchers from the streets of our nation's Capitol. They never forgave the arrogance of General Douglas MacArthur swaggering in his dress uniform as he led U.S. Army troops in an attack against American war veterans.

Like most kids, I sometimes listened. Sometimes I didn't, and sometimes I didn't believe them. Growing up, veterans issues were part of our everyday family conversation. On Armistice Day, the house bloomed with red American Legion poppies and a large American Flag was a permanent fixture. On December 8, 1941, my father tried to enlist in the Army but was turned away because he was over 40. My folks credited FDR with saving America.. When I began to write fiction I chose to base my main characters, Bonnie and Will on my parents' lives. Tom Jenks, my writing teacher/ mentor, reminded me that the Bonus March was bigger than my parent's personal story; it was an important historical event that couldn't depend on their anecdotes or my sometimes faulty memory. My research began with multiple trips to Washington and the Library of Congress. I walked the Death March, I sat where they sat on the Capitol steps, visited Anacostia and experienced the awful heat and humidity those marchers experienced that summer. And I read and read and read. In the 10 years it took for me to write The Bonus, history repeated itself. Now, this story of the systemic neglect of veterans, hard economic times, environmental disaster and the consequences of a failed presidency is more relevant than ever.

After leaving southern California, I married and with my husband, raised a son and daughter while we owned and operated a family resort in the High Sierra. After 25 years, I retired, turned to my lifelong dream of writing fiction. Now, I work and live in a small community on the Eastern slope of the Sierra with my 2 "highly intelligent" golden retrievers. At present, I am hard at work on 2 new novels, a prequel to The Bonus titled An Ordinary Kid and a sequel- the Old Ladies.

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