The Olivia series consists of:
Book 1 - Olivia, Mourning (Historical - 1840s)
Book 2 - The Way the World Is (Historical - 1840s)
Book 3 - Whatever Happened to Mourning Free? (Vintage Contemporary -1967 and Historical - 1840s)
The Historical Novel Society has selected Olivia, Mourning as one of its seven Editors' Choice historical novels and nominated it for the 2015 HNS Indie Award.
Olivia wants the 80 acres in far off Michigan that her father left to whichever of his offspring wants to stake a claim. As Olivia says, “I’m sprung off him just as much as Avis or Tobey.”
The problem: she’s seventeen, female, and it’s 1841.
Mourning Free knows how to run a farm and Olivia has complete trust in him.
The problem: he’s the orphaned son of runaway slaves and reluctant to travel and work with a white girl. He especially fears the slave catchers who patrol the free states, hunting fugitive slaves.
Not without qualms, they set off together. All goes well, despite the drudgery of survival in an isolated log cabin. Incapable of acknowledging her feelings for Mourning, Olivia thinks her biggest problem is her unrequited romantic interest in their young, single neighbor.
Then her world falls apart.
Strong-willed, vulnerable, and compassionate, Olivia is a compelling protagonist on a journey to find a way to do the right thing in a world in which so much is wrong.
About the Author
Yael Politis grew up in Dearborn, Michigan, not far from Olivia’s farm. She spent years researching the backdrop for Olivia’s story, enjoying the challenge of recreating daily life in another time and place. She based many of the details (including how Mourning got his name) on letters and journals passed down through her family, over seven generations of lives lived in the American Midwest. She received a great deal of insight from her sister Martha, who lived in a modern log home, hunted her own land, and was as independent and stubborn as Olivia.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Politis moved to Israel, where she has worked as an agricultural laborer, secretary, librarian, Administrative Systems Analyst, Hebrew-English translator, editor, English teacher, technical writer, and proposal writer.