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'Til All These Things Be Done

A novel by

Set against the rich but often troubled history of Blacklands, Texas, during an era of pandemic, scientific discovery, and social upheaval, the novel offers a unique—yet eerily familiar—backdrop to a universal tale of triumphing over loss. 

Even as dementia clouds other memories, eighty-three-year-old Leola can’t forget her father’s disappearance when she was sixteen. Now, as Papa appears in haunting visions, Leola relives the circumstances of that loss: the terrible accident that steals Papa’s livelihood, sending the family deeper into poverty; a scandal from Mama’s past that still wounds; and Leola’s growing unease with her brutally bigoted society.  

When Papa vanishes while seeking work in Houston and Mama dies in the “boomerang” Influenza outbreak of 1919, Leola and her young sisters are sent to an orphanage, where her exposure of a dark injustice means sacrificing a vital clue to Papa’s whereabouts. That decision echoes into the future, as new details about his disappearance suggest betrayal too painful to contemplate. Only in old age, as her visions of Papa grow more realistic, does Leola confront her long-buried grief, leading to a remarkable family discovery that could offer peace, at last.

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"A rich and beautifully written story of family, tragedy, and love. . . . The author renders her characters in vivid detail, capturing their strengths and foibles with heart and a brilliant ear for dialogue. Moyers also provides a clear-eyed portrait of the prejudices of the time that unfortunately feels too familiar in the 21st century. 'Til All These Things Be Done is exactly the book any lover of historical fiction - or of stories about the power of families to hurt and heal - would want to have." - Mally Becker

"With deft prose and a compelling realism, Suzanne Moyers's richly imagined novel presents an insightful portrait of courage in the face of devastating betrayal. In 'Til All These Things Be Done, Moyers shows how the character of her remarkable protagonist, Leola Rideout, is shaped by her orphan experience and gives a timely and unflinching exposition of prejudice, pandemic, and power in the early twentieth century." - Dianne Ebertt Beeaff

"Through her irresistible language and characters, Suzanne Moyers pulls us into a braided story that is quintessentially Texan and yet universal. Time and again I paused over passages for their sheer richness, and was sorry to reach the end. In 'Til All These Things Be Done, many readers will find a resonance with their own family histories and yearning for connection." - Peter C Brown

"A brilliantly delineated coming-of-age story; Suzanne Moyers recreates the early 1900s of rural Texas as a young girl struggles with tragedy, poverty, prejudice, and a searing betrayal that refuses to let her go. Impeccable research and a deft ear for local dialogue enrich this fully immersive debut novel." - Michelle Cameron

"A serious and intensely gratifying page-turner that places the reader squarely in an era of political, social, and emotional turmoil in Texas. It's also a poignant love story, as Moyers presides over the lives of her characters with tenderness and a sure hand. Love, longing, and the hard persistence of hope shine in this debut novel." - Elizabeth Crook

"An excellently written book that paints a powerful portrait of the dire conditions endured by a poor family in Texas in the early 1900s. Sixteen-year-old Leola Rideout, a young woman with a social conscience, makes heroic efforts to ensure her and her siblings' survival, overcome harrowing circumstances, and maintain her dreams." - Linda Stewart Henley

"This riveting tale set in East Texas in the early 1920s, when the Ku Klux Klan held sway and only '100% Americans' were treated with dignity, is the story of Leola, a character inspired by the author's grandmother. From an early age, Leola resolves to stand up against the cruel treatment of Blacks and other minorities. Sent with her young sisters to a home for orphans when her mother dies in the Spanish flu epidemic and her father disappears, Leola confronts sexual abuse, along with other indignities. Told in lively and authentic colloquial speech, Leola's story will reverberate with readers in today's world." - Sara Loyster

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