New Book Discusses a ‘Titanic’ Tragedy in the Heartland

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Marian Manseau Cheatham revisits real disaster to tell of grief, acceptance and love.

Imagine handling the typical teenage struggles while also coping with one of the country’s most horrific domestic tragedies.

On July 24, 1915 the Eastland steamship capsized in the Chicago River killing more than 800 passengers, leaving many trapped in the ship’s flooding interior. In her new novel, “Merely Dee” (published by iUniverse), Marian Manseau Cheatham tells the true story of the Eastland disaster through the young eyes of fictional teenager, Dee Pageau.

Cheatham wrote the book because of her personal connection to the disaster. Her grandmother avoided possible death when a premonition convinced her not to board the Eastland that fateful day.

“I knew I had to write this story after a lifetime of hearing my grandmother’s story. For over a decade, I compiled research and tidbits of information,” Cheatham says. “My sister’s sudden death gave me the courage and understanding to tackle such an intensely emotional event.”

The story follows Dee, whose typical teenage worries are put into perspective in a new world of death and grief. Cheatham, a parent/guardian of five young adults herself, wrote the book to show the importance of accepting grief and moving to healing.

“Nowadays, young people are bombarded with images of death and dying,” Cheatham says. “I’m using Dee’s story, set against the true backdrop of the Eastland tragedy, to teach how to handle such difficult, conflicting emotions.”

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“Merely Dee”
By Marian Manseau Cheatham
ISBN: 978-1462072293
Paperback, retail price: $14.95
Hardcover, retail price: $24.95

About the author
Marian Manseau Cheatham likens her life to that of a young adult novel. A parent/guardian of five 20-somethings, Marian enjoys writing books that reach this target audience. In her free time, she participates in writers groups and community organizations. She researched “Merely Dee” for over a decade until her sister’s sudden death and her mother’s battle with Alzheimers encouraged her to finish the novel. She currently resides in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

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EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact:
Lauren Cascio
Phone: 317-366-7897
Email: lcascio(at)bohlsengroup(dot)com
(When requesting a review copy, please provide a street address.)

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