The Fabric of Wishful Thinking

The Fabric of Wishful Thinking

A novel in progress by Kathleen Curtis Wilson

Story overview: In the early 20th century, men of the McCloud family operated a series of small textile production mills across Virginia and Tennessee in an effort to make a decent living; they moved from mill to mill after floods or fires destroyed leased structures built next to rivers that provided the power source.

In 1909, patriarch Albert McCloud, a staunch Presbyterian, leases a second mill and sends his two youngest sons to put it back into operation when it was abandoned after a major flood. He hopes the combined incomes of two mills will finally enable the family to purchase the Russell Cotton & Woolen Mills, its adjoining tract of land, and a large house in Harriman, Tennessee so the family can settle permanently. McCloud has no idea that his gallant and impetuous son Summers will fall in love with Ella Coles Hutchinson, a young wife and mother married to a mean-spirited, hard-drinking mountain man who is unemployed and fifteen years her senior. Summers wants to believe that love conquers all obstacles, but Ella fears the dangerous consequences of their love and her reckless behavior.

The story takes place over a period of eighteen months, in which the main characters are forced to make difficult decisions in their personal and professional lives, ultimately choosing to abide by or challenge traditional values and the consequences of those decisions.


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