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Anna And Rosie: Epilogue - Anna and Rosie

So Anna and Rosie, the story of an immigrant family making their way in the American Mid-West in the early decades of the Twentieth Century, has come to an end.

And now Jean Day tells what inspired her to write a story by means of an exchange of letters between sisters.

To read Jean's tale from the beginning please click on Anna and Rosie in the menu on this page.


I was 25 when my mother died, and she was 67. We were the best of friends but, even so, to me she was always an old lady –because when I was born she was nearly 43.

So what a wonderful surprise I had when my aunt Rose, seven years her elder but still very healthy, gave me the letters that my mother had written to her all through the years. It meant that I could see my mother as a young woman, nervous of her first job, having fun doing silly things, homesick when she was first away from home. I could identify with her when she so much wanted a boyfriend. My heart could break for her when she lost her husband.

In my book the letters that Rosie wrote are my invention, but they are based on my own family stories that I was told over and over. Although an Aunt Anna existed in my family, I very much doubt that she was part of the correspondence that I have attributed to her. All the rest is, as far as I know, fact. The letter from Gertrude is again authentic.


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