A day after their wedding in 1949, Denny whisks his new bride, Betty, to the boys’ dorm on a college campus in Nebraska, where they are to serve as houseparents and role models. The strict church-based campus prompts the young wife to act smarter than she thinks she is and holier than she knows she is. Coming from a down-to-earth family that indulged in much of what is forbidden by the Christian college (including drinking, smoking, cussing, and dancing) requires that she smooth out a lot of rough edges. In the process, Betty learns lessons as a surrogate mother to eleven high-spirited young men that will prepare her for the real thing.
Reading Living with Twelve Men feels like time travel; it’s a moral and emotional snapshot of mid-America in the 1950s. This was an era without television, cell phones, computers, and social media. The concerns of individuals in small-town middle America were so unlike those of the present day that the differences are breathtaking. Most of the time, we judge a book by its contents. This work speaks loudly by what isn’t said, and the silence offers a priceless perspective on genuine human values. Living with Twelve Men is Betty Auchard at her best. — Charles D. Hayes, author, September University: Summoning Passion for an Unfinished Life, and A Mile North of Good and Evil.
These stories are like an episode out of a good novel. You would not have to know the characters to appreciate the experiences and, most likely, you’ll be reminded of your own past. People in the Midwest, in the days leading to our own time, were survivors. We’re used to hearing, “Forget the past,” but maybe it’s not so bad to remember the past if in it one finds pleasant memories and laughter. Betty does that with both dignity and grace. I would recommend that you read the story to see for yourself. — Dr. J. Benton White, retired professor, San Jose State University
Betty was born to write, even though she may not have figured that out until later in life. A captivating storyteller, she lures you in from the first sentence, and no matter how old you are, or in what era you grew up, you can identify with the thoughts and events she recounts with humor, poignancy, and great insight. — Nina L. Diamond, journalist, essayist, author, and former Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY Awards) judge, 2004-2011
About the Author:
Betty Auchard, a retired art teacher, was sixty-eight when widowhood prompted her to begin writing. At the age of seventy- five, she completed her first memoir, Dancing in My Nightgow, which became an IPPY Award (Independent Publisher) finalist. The Home for the Friendless, published when she was eighty, received first-place awards for content and book design from the National Independent Publisher Awards (NIEA). Living with Twelve Men is Betty’s 85th birthday present to herself, and she and her editor have already started work on a fourth book.
The oldest of three children, Betty grew up in the Midwest and spent the early years of married life in Nebraska. When her husband, Denny, landed a position as a college professor at San Jose State University, they relocated to the Bay Area of California, where they raised four children and a herd of grandchildren. Betty continues to write in the family home.
Books printed in the US and the UK.