Spotlight: "The Butternut Tree"

"The Butternut Tree"
by Maureen Ann Richards Kostalnick
Publisher: Bookstand Publishing
Source: received from publisher and publicist
Release Date: Oct 26, 2012

The following description is from

Avon, Ohio, was a sleepy little farm town in 1945. A simple way of life focused around strict Catholic doctrine, St. Mary's Church, and the objective truths and sense of right and wrong contained within those hallowed institutions. Tolerance was a luxury, one in which this town never indulged, favoring the rod over compassion. In 1928, when a young woman was the victim of sexual assault, she was tarnished, regardless of her subsequent marriage and a house full of children. Years after the assault, I was born into this family -- a family that shared a dilapidated farm house scarcely big enough to contain two people, let alone my grandparents, mother, sister, and two brothers. The townspeople's denial became condemnation as my father divorced my mother; the Town shunned our family and my mother took to her bed, unable to face herself or the world. Unaware of the cause of my mother's inability to function, I only knew I would grow to live a different life. I made a promise to that effect at the age of seven, under the shade and protection of my Butternut Tree. The fulfillment of that promise has taken many turns

Author Bio (from the publicist)
Maureen Ann Richards Kostalnick is originally from Avon, Ohio and married her high school sweetheart Chuck, she now lives in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. She has dedicated her life to her family, and to working with multi-handicapped children as a Sign Language Interpreter for the Deaf. Maureen is widely recognized as an advocate for children with disabilities and those children who are forgotten.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publicist/publisher in exchange for a blog post.


  1. Looks like a heartbreaking but maybe uplifting story. I've never heard of a Butternut tree, but it makes me hungry :)


  2. Sounds interesting!! It does like a inspiring story though. Thanks for sharing!! :)

  3. Sounds like an sad yet inspiring story! I'm going to have to add this to my read list.


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!