An excerpt from EMPTY CHAIRS:
I had been in America for several months now and homesickness held me in its grip. I missed the familiarity of friends and acquaintances. I missed chatting with them where and when we met. I had met people here, but I could never ask them, "Remember how much fun we had in school? Do you know where Maria is? Did she marry Hans? Is your brother still in Russia?"
We had no recall of each others' past because we had not shared it. Only Kenny had been with my family, only he had seen where and how we lived.
Now I recalled how Mama in desperation had pleaded, "Anneliese, you are not listening, and you don't envision what you will have to cope with .... "
Another excerpt from EMPTY CHAIRS:
When Agnes came, frustrated, I cried out, 'When will I ever learn English and understand what's going on?'
"Annelee, you will understand English when you dream in English," Agnes assured me. "Don't worry so much, you understand more each day."
Several weeks later, it was after midnight, and Kenny and I were sound asleep. Suddenly, I sat up and shook Kenny. "Kenny! Kenny! Wake up!"
Kenny was startled. "What is it, Annelee? Are you sick?"
"No, no, Kenny. I just dreamt in English!" I shouted. "I just dreamt in English!"
"That's nice," Kenny mumbled. "That's nice. Now let's go back to sleep."
The next morning I complained, "You don't even care if I ever learn English."
"Annelee, please understand," Kenny pleased. "I slept so soundly. I dream in English every night."
LETTERS TO THE AUTHOR, REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
June 30, 2009
"Just want you to know how much I enjoyed your 2nd book, 'Empty Chairs.' I found each facet of the book enlightening and interesting. Your mama was a wise woman who gave you much good counsel. Your life has definitely been brim full of living to be sure. You are an amazing woman who has taken life by the horns and made life what you wanted it to be despite much adversity. Congratulations on a book well-written based on a life well-lived."
- Linda S.
It is wonderful!
November 30, 2008
"I have read your 2nd book, 'Empty Chairs' and it is wonderful! I love your way of telling the stories of your life, weaving into your stories your personal and family values. You have much to teach your readers...not only about the War and your life in Germany and in the U.S., but also about what is most important in life, about keeping a marriage intact -- and working to make it better! Thank you, Annelee.
- Sharon T.
Empty Chairs is now available
McCleery & Sons Publishing
$17.85 USA plus tax = $19.00
plus $3.00 shipping and handling costs
Forward to the newest book:
Anyone of a certain age knows the abiding truth in John Lennon's oft-quoted song lyric, "life is what happens to you while you're making other plans."
Certainly Anneliese Solch, to become Annelee Woodstrom in 1947, experienced the meaning of this lyric, from growing up in Hitler's Germany, to building an adult life, a marriage of over 50 years, and a loving family, in the United States.
In "Empty Chairs", Annelee Woodstrom recounts in a most readable way the joys, the sorrows, the forks, the ruts, the smooth pavement in life's road of 60 years in America. Woven in, like golden threads in an already beautiful tapestry, are memories of growing up in a pastoral town in the Germany of Adolf Hitler. The reader is brought into the life of an American family, movingly tied into the experiences within the German family of Annelee's birth.
"Empty Chairs" follows Ms. Woodstrom's award-winning, "War Child: Growing Up in Adolf Hitler's Germany."
Both books are treasures to be cherished.
President, MN Alliance of Peacemakers