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Baker book explores Superior during World War II
A recent book release has mystery, history, imagery and a Twin Ports connection. Joe Gigliotti has the story.
Award-winning novelist Ellen Baker moved to Superior in 2002. Here, she found the inspiration and setting for her book - “I Gave My Heart to Know This”.
“I Gave My Heart to Know This is the story of a group of women who work at a shipyard during the Second World War in Superior. They come together as friends, and a couple of them are mother and daughter, but there’s something that happens in the family that makes it so that they can no longer be friends, and even the family kind of falls apart, and a generation or two later, actually it’s a great granddaughter that comes back to the family farm in northern Wisconsin, and tries to piece together what had happened around the time of the war, and tires to put the whole family back together again.”
Baker says an inspiration for this book was a “Rosie the Riveter”-type picture.
“I had been able to see a picture of women dressed in their welding costumes and it really struck me, and I just thought, wow, how interesting to tell this story of these women who had worked in the shipyards here in Superior.”
Baker says the 336 page book was fun to write.
“I loved doing all the research, finding out about the particular details of the work at the shipyards and life during the Second World War. I met a lot of really interesting people. The reception has been good for this book, which is very gratifying.”
“I Gave My Heart to Know This” isn’t Baker’s only publication with a local connection.
“This is my second novel. My first novel was called Keeping the House, and that was a novel ser in northern Wisconsin in 1950.”
And she has her next novel in the works. “I’m writing a third novel that kind of branches off into more travel and more getting beyond one’s own borders and that is about a woman in 1912 who becomes a pilot.”
The book is published by Random House Publishing and is available at most area bookstores.
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