Evanston Public Library Friends – Evanston Public Library
Auction Ends: Jun 2, 2010 11:59 PM CDT

Outings with Authors!

Book Club a Dud?! Tired of Disappointing Reads?!! Get the Author AND the Books!!

Item Number
Estimated Value
$300 USD
$155 USD to drewnorth
Number of Bids
23  -  Bid History

Item Description


Ever wonder “WHY” this was said?


           Or a particular event was included?


                WE’VE GOT THE ANSWER!!!


  •  10 signed copies of the historical novel BEAUTIFUL DREAMER 




  • The author will join you and your friends on your Book Club Night! 


BEAUTIFUL DREAMER is a delightful coming-of-age story about a young Irish woman finding her way in Chicago in 1900. Kitty Coakley, the 20-year-old caboose at the end of 7 first-generation Irish children, finds herself with bigger ambitions than being a housewife like her mother or older sister Margaret. Despite receiving accolades for her singing and piano-playing, her music teacher tells her that she has no real future. Determined to make something of herself like her spunky Aunt Mabel, who runs a millinery boutique at Marshal Field's, she decides to learn how to teach kindergarten. The heart of the story is in the beaus vying for her attention: the comfortable Brian, a family friend, or her old high school friend Henry Thomas, a young, ambitious architect from a higher class - but a German and Protestant, to boot. Wonderfully descriptive settings firmly place the book in turn-of-the-century Chicago and New Orleans, where Kitty must choose between a comfortable, pre-approved path, or what her heart really desires…



One reader review stated:

As historical novels go, Joan Naper's ranks among the most intriguing and compelling for three reasons:
1. Thorough-going research of a fascinating period in the history of the growth of Chicago. Ms. Naper is able to personalize and humanize what could have been a pedestrian version of Irish immigrant life
2. Strong narrative style through seemingly casual conversation. Dialogue is always difficult, always prone to lapses of sermonizing. Ms. Naper avoids that with short, compact, true-to-life conversation. The result is a fast pace full of meaning and insight.
3. Realism without sentimentalism. The narrative is bright, engaging and creative as it avoids the hard-edged or the biting judgmental attitude found in so many stories about heroic family struggles in difficult circumstances. Instead of smacking her reader between the eyes with a meat-axe, Ms. Naper lays out a human environment of very real people doing the ordinary things of life with extraordinary attention to detail.

One can virtually smell the smells and see the surroundings in this period piece with a purpose.


If the everyday reader loves it  --  and the critics love it  -- then THIS might be the answer to your book club woes…!!!


Item Special Note

  • 10 signed copies of her novel, one for each member of your book group!
  • Date and time are negotiable; duration approximately 1 ½ hours.
  • Location restricted to the Chicago, Evanston, and North Shore area.
  • Contact information provided to winning bidder at close of auction.

Joan Naper is a proud fifth-generation Chicagoan who is endlessly fascinated by the history and possibility that can be found in her beloved hometown. She has had a long writing career, working as an editor for educational publishing companies and as a researcher and writer for marketing and advertising companies, and in corporate communications. She was a speechwriter for the American Medical Association for nine years and is now director of research communications at Northwestern University. But fiction is her first love. Beautiful Dreamer is her first novel. 


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