‘The Whirligig of Time’
On Saturday, June 9, Nora Percival, author of “Weather of the Heart” and “Silver Pages on the Lawn,” will officially introduce her third memoir, “The Whirligig of Time,” at the Watauga County Library, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Percival said she hopes many of her enthusiastic readers will come to help her celebrate the new work, which creates a trilogy of books about the three critical periods of history through which the writer’s life has taken her. There will be readings, refreshments, reminiscences and revelry.
Many of those who enjoyed Percival’s first two memoirs have expressed a wish for a sequel to the abovementioned tales – about her childhood in revolutionary Russia and the love story she treasures during her college days in the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Their requests have borne fruit. At the age of 97, Percival’s memories of the challenges and adversities of life in America during World War II are still sharp and poignant.
The new book was partly inspired by the stories she’s read recently about wartime life in occupied countries of Europe. Among the highlights in “Whirligig” are the excerpts from her daily reports at her war job as counselor to women workers in a large defense plant.
Percival writes, “Rereading them after more than 65 years, those hectic pressured days that demanded all my stamina, ingenuity, empathy and endurance … and nearly overwhelmed me rose up in my memory as I pondered how best to breathe real life into the record.”
The reader will judge how well she succeeded. Percival said she wrote the book in part because she hopes that, in an unhappy age of political and social divisiveness, this record of a time when Americans were deeply united in the effort to rid the world of another scourge might help remind us how much our unique nation needs concord, not controversy.