Books by Tom and Laura McNeal
Nineteen-year-old Aldine McKenna is stuck at home with her sister and aunt in a Scottish village in 1929 when two Mormon missionaries ring the doorbell. Aldine’s sister converts and moves to America to marry, and Aldine follows, hoping to find the life she’s meant to lead and the person she’s meant to love.
In New York, Aldine answers an ad soliciting a teacher for a one-room schoolhouse in a place she can’t possibly imagine: drought-stricken Kansas. She arrives as farms on the Great Plains have begun to fail and schools are going bankrupt, unable to pay or house new teachers. With no money and too much pride to turn back, she lives uneasily with the family of Ansel Price—the charming, optimistic man who placed the ad—and his family responds to her with kindness, curiosity, suspicion, and, most dangerously, love. Just as she’s settling into her strange new life, a storm forces unspoken thoughts to the surface that will forever alter the course of their lives.
The Practice House has been selected for the Coronado Community Read of 2019! Here's a snippet from the Coronado Library press release: "Join us from February 22 through April 5, 2019, for community book discussions, film screenings that explore the background of the novel, as well as music and programs to celebrate the themes in McNeal’s novel. Stay tuned for more details about the 2019 Coronado Community Read schedule, and travel back in time with us to explore Aldine’s and the Price family’s experiences in America and especially in nearby Fallbrook, California." Since traveling back in time is my favorite thing, I can't wait, and I hope you'll join us virtually or in person!
"The memorable characters, well-constructed setting, and beautiful prose make the novel shine"
“A stunning, pitch-perfect tale of a star-crossed, Depression-era love triangle."
—Lily King, author of Euphoria
"a vibrant, stirring gem of a book"
--Ron Hansen, National Book Award Finalist for Atticus
“. . . an immigrant’s journey, a family’s epic, and a necessary history told straight from the heart. It’s the kind of book readers will return to again and again.”
--Douglas Unger, author of Leaving the Land and Voices from Silence
"The novel, in its understated and brilliantly imagined scenes, draws us into the everyday joys and the wrenching struggles of Aldine McKenna's journey. It opens up her heart to us."
--Darrell Spencer, author of Bring Your Legs With You
The Practice House is published by Little A, the literary fiction imprint of Amazon, and is available in hard cover, paperback, unabridged audio, and as an ebook.