WINTERS - Susan Mansell, artist from Ballinger will review “Listen for the Mourning Dove” by F. C. Pearce at the Winters Public Library, at 3 p.m. Tuesday January 31.

WINTERS - Susan Mansell, artist from Ballinger will review “Listen for  the Mourning Dove” by F. C. Pearce at the Winters Public Library at 3 p.m. Tuesday January 31.

Mansell will review “Listen for the Mourning Dove” one of many books she has read and enjoyed. Mansell did the cover art for the book, which was released in March of 2016.

Deep roots in Runnels County inspired Pearce’s first novel, “Listen for the Mourning Dove,” with the scene set in West Texas in 1953 “during the surface calm and prosperity of post-World War II America, the privileged West Texas Randolph family suffers a terrible blow.”

“As a result, a disparate group of strangers become inextricably linked to the family, and to each other, for the four decades to follow. In the aftermath of their life-altering event, the deep-rooted Randolph clan is left vulnerable not only to threats from the outside, but to more sinister ones from within its own ranks,” the forward in the book explains.

Pearce was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, went to New Orleans and would spend her childhood in Ballinger from the tender age of six. Her links to Runnels County, date back to its inception, beginning with her great grandfather, J.Y. Pearce, who left his civilized life in the east when he heard the Santa Fe Railroad would be going through the town.

“My great grandparent J.Y. Pearce and his wife, migrated to Ballinger in the 1880s when Ballinger was still a tent city,” Pearce explained in a previous story. “He was the first president of the First National Bank and had a drug store called the J.Y. Pearce Drug Store. Our family’s roots were established at that time.”

In an interview last March, Pearce said the book will resonate with residents of the area.

“My roots in Ballinger inspired me to set the opening of the book in West Texas,” Pearce said. “It is such a rich, interesting culture in Ballinger.

“It is really a story that is universal and would appeal to anyone anywhere - it is kind of the good versus evil universal theme,” she continued.  “The book is set in an area that is so familiar to them I believe they will have a more personal experience.”

Mansell is a fourth generation Texan and has lived in Runnels County most of her life.  She and her husband of 48 years, Chauncey Mansell, have two children and four grandchildren.  As an artist working mainly in watercolor and oil, she also makes handcrafted books and does metal work.  

Mansell has signature memberships in numerous art organizations and her work has been published as has her art in several permanent collections.  Traveling is an important part of her life.  An old saying from her dad was “you never learn anything staying at home”  She has traveled to 37 countries and can appreciate the difference in cultures, cuisine and palates.  Only one step away from her black belt in Tai chi and leads a weekly class in Tai chi and yoga.  

"The library appreciates this beautiful lady taking time out of her busy schedule to do our book review," said library volunteer and organizer Joyce Carbery.