New Historical Novel Explores Orphan’s Seven-Decade Journey

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Amid a cast of unforgettable characters, and from the Great Depression to Finn Fest 2005, Lyla Hopewell survives a childhood in an orphanage and seeks her identity and the love she’s always craved in Tyler R. Tichelaar’s new novel “The Best Place.”

An irritating best friend gained during a childhood spent in a Catholic orphanage, a father who became a Communist and migrated to Russia in the 1930s, and 3:00 a.m. visits to The Pancake House. Such is the life of Lyla Hopewell. But things are about to change for her in Tyler R. Tichelaar’s new novel “The Best Place” (ISBN 9780979179075, Marquette Fiction, 2013).

During the Great Depression, many American Finns migrated to Karelia, a Finnish province under Soviet control. Convinced the American Dream was a falsehood, they were ready to embrace Communism, and Lyla Hopewell’s father was among them. Planning to send for his wife and daughters once he was settled, he was never heard from again. Then Lyla’s mother died, her sister was adopted, and she was sent to a Catholic orphanage.

These inauspicious beginnings gave Lyla plenty of reason to be ornery, but they also made her tough. Now at age seventy-seven, Lyla will find her past intruding into her present. She’ll try to reconcile with her ex-boyfriend, be badgered by her best friend into joining a women’s recovery group, be harassed by a foul-mouthed teenager, and embrace her heritage at Finn Fest 2005.

Tyler R. Tichelaar’s novels have won fans across North America. Canadian author Laura Fabiani describes his books as “Never predictable, sometimes heartbreaking, always hopeful.” Laura Johnson of Review the Book (Austin, TX), states, “I have found a new favorite writer...The writing is fresh, yet it has a feel of the old, historical novels of ages past.” And Bethany Andrews of Book of the Moment (Maine) declares, “I am now and forever a huge Tyler Tichelaar fan. He’s a man with a wonderful gift for storytelling, and a knack for presenting historical facts in a way that can rival any great historical fiction author.”

In “The Best Place,” Tichelaar has created a tour-de-force with memorable characters, many returning from his previous novels, who reflect the insecurities, fears, hopes, and dreams we all have. “The Best Place” is Tichelaar’s funniest, most heart-wrenching, and overall most cathartic novel to date. Lyla Hopewell’s story of survival and resilience amid personal mistakes, rejection, and life’s obstacles will inspire readers from all walks of life.

About the Author
Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. in Literature and current president of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association, is a seventh generation resident of Marquette, Michigan, the city where his novels are set. In 2009, Tyler received the Best Historical Fiction Award in the Reader Views Literary Awards for his novel “Narrow Lives.” In 2011, he received the Barb H. Kelly Historic Preservation Award from the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee for his book “My Marquette,” and he received the Marquette County Arts Award that same year for an “Outstanding Writer.”

“The Best Place” (ISBN 9780979179075, Marquette Fiction, 2013) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit http://www.MarquetteFiction.com. Publicity contact: http://www.ReaderViews.com. Review copies available upon request.

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