Until the Robin Walks on Snow tells the inspiring fact-based story of the struggle to save a tiny baby in 1920s Norwich, Connecticut.
The first book of Norwich native Bernice L. Rocque, Until the Robin Walks on Snow is based on a real event—the birth of an extremely premature baby in Norwich, Connecticut in November 1922, and the efforts of his immigrant family and the midwife to save him.
A work of historical fiction, the book explores the depths of determination, family unity, faith, and friendship that are possible, even in the most challenging of circumstances. The mother in the story was the grandmother of the author. The author’s aunt and uncle served as advisors. The writing goal was to draw upon facts, family history, and research to tell the story “that might have happened.”
“Writing this book and piecing together what probably happened has been an amazing experience, the author said. “Statistically, babies weighing less than three pounds in the 1920s rarely survived longer than a few weeks, so this story about a newborn weighing 1.5 pounds may be heart lifting for many, especially in the season of light.”
Like millions of others, the author’s family came to America at the turn of the 20th century. They sought a better life, while retaining much of their ethnic heritage. A chapter in the book highlights the family's Polish and Lithuanian Christmas Eve traditions. Appendices include Sources Consulted and Author's Notes. The book cover contains advance praise from a veteran obstetrician (Michael Morosky) and a prominent historian (Bruce Stave).
The public is invited to this interactive program on Wednesday, December 12, from 10:30 AM-12:30 at the Rose City Senior Center in Norwich. The author will discuss the book, why she is writing stories about her family, and will invite audience members to share memories and family stories from the 1920s. She’ll read a few excerpts and a book signing session will conclude the appearance. Call 860-889-5960 for more information and to register for this free event.
Bernice L. Rocque grew up in Norwich, Connecticut in the surroundings described in her novella, Until the Robin Walks on Snow. An educator, family historian, writer, and avid gardener, she has authored numerous business articles associated with her work in libraries, training and development, and project management. Articles she has written about her family have appeared in the Norwich Bulletin, Good Old Days magazine, and Family Chronicle.