Skip to main content
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Lunch with Authors 2021/22 > Lunch with Author:Melanie Benjamin (1/19/2022 12:00 PM)
USC Beaufort Center for the Arts | Community Services Ticketing

USC Beaufort Center for the Arts | Community Services Ticketing

If you are a student or faculty/staff, please login before continuing. This will allow you to access any ticketing benefits that you are entitled to.

Lunch with Author:Melanie Benjamin

Lunch with Authors 2021/22
Belfair Club House
Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022 at 12:00 PM (ET)

Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling historical novels The Swans of Fifth Avenue, about Truman Capote and his society swans, The Aviator's Wife, a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and Mistress of the Ritz, based on the true story of the American woman who ran the Ritz during World War II, catering to the Nazi occupiers by day while working for the Resistance by night. Her latest novel, The Children's Blizzard, is a gripping tale of survival and forgiveness amidst a devastating, real-life blizzard that hit the Great Plains on the afternoon of January 12, 1888.

The morning of January 12, 1888, was unusually mild, following a punishing cold spell. It was warm enough for the homesteaders of the Dakota territory to venture out again, and for their children to return to school without their heavy coats—leaving them unprepared when disaster struck. At just the hour when most prairie schools were letting out for the day, a terrifying, fast-moving blizzard blew in without warning. Schoolteachers as young as sixteen were suddenly faced with life and death decisions: keep the children inside, to risk freezing to death when fuel ran out, or send them home, praying they wouldn't get lost in the storm?
Based on actual oral histories of survivors, this gripping novel follows the stories of Raina and Gerda Olsen, two sisters, both schoolteachers—one who becomes a hero of the storm, and one who finds herself ostracized in the aftermath. It's also the story of Anette Pedersen, a servant girl whose miraculous survival serves as a turning point in her life and touches the heart of Gavin Woodson, a newspaperman seeking redemption. It was Woodson and others like him who wrote the embellished news stories that lured Northern European immigrants across the sea to settle a pitiless land. Boosters needed them to settle territories into states, and they didn't care what lies they told these families to get them there—or whose land it originally was.
At its heart, this is a story of courage, of children forced to grow up too soon, tied to the land because of their parents' choices. It is a story of love taking root in the hard prairie ground, and of families being torn asunder by a ferocious storm that is little remembered today—because so many of its victims were immigrants to this country.

Books will be available for purchase at the event, lunch and book signing are included.

Share Via

Ticket Options

Tickets

Ticket TypesPriceQuantity
General Public
$47.00

Event Location
200 Belfair Oaks Blvd. Bluffton, SC 29910

Open in Google Maps