Tonight: Claire Gebben book talk and genealogy research discussion

By John Kephart on May 28, 2014

The tale of an immigrant arriving on American shores seeking opportunity and a better life is one that's been oft-told. Usually, the story goes like this: a family in a far-off land realize how hard their lives are and decide to embark on a bold adventure to the New World, where life will be so much better. BUT when they get there, they find there are still cats who will chase them around and the streets are not paved with cheese. ... This is the template that Seattle author Claire Gebben works with in her historical novel The Last of the Blacksmiths (well, maybe not the parts about cats and cheese). Though instead of a family of 19th century Russian mice landing in New York, Blacksmiths borrows from Gebben's family history of 19th century Germans landing in Cleveland. The story's protagonist Fievel Michael Harm has sailed to the New World to apprentice as ... well, a blacksmith.

Gebben discusses her novel, as well as genealogy research for historical novels, at Wheelock Library this evening. Maybe she'll reveal details for the sequel, Blacksmiths II: Michael Goes West. ...

CLAIRE GEBBEN, 7 p.m., Wheelock Library, 3722 N. 26th St., Tacoma, free admission, 253.617.7811