Enid E. Haag
From Europe to Texas and Peggy’s Wartime Memories
In April 1906, ten-year-old Emma finds herself thrust into the reality of a terrible natural disaster, the great San Francisco earthquake. Alone and frightened, a Good Samaritan, opera singer Enrico Caruso, takes her under his wing. After a disheartening search for her mom, dad, and older brother, she’s reunited with her uncle in New Mexico.
Traumatized and plagued by panic attacks following the earthquake, Emma slowly recovers with the love of her Spanish Converso aunt and German uncle. Misadventures abound as fear grips her during sandstorms or shaking of buildings. Her persistent conviction that Papa will return keeps her spirits positive.
A court order catapults a more grown up Emma into living in Texas with a resentful aunt, disinterested uncle, and a bullying cousin. Family secrets, plus cultural and religious prejudices, hinder any harmony that might develop. Only her grandmother welcomes her into the traditional German family in New Braunfels, Texas.
When an invitation arrives from Caruso to attend one of his concerts in Corsicana, Texas, Emma learns some of the family’s secrets, giving her deeper insight into the various family disputes. She never loses hope she will be reunited with her Papa.