Tucked away in the nation’s heartland, a boy was born the very summer the United States would enter the First World War. His name was Joe Sexton, and his life would bear witness to the dramatic and monumental changes and events that marked the twentieth century—the First World War, the Great Depression, and the Second World War. While all of these events would profoundly affect the course of the United States, for Joe Sexton and his family, they would also mark the end of an era.
A Little Gleam of Time offers a window into the life of native son Joe Sexton and the changes and eventual fate of a small Midwestern town—Sumner, Iowa. As much a story of growth, expansion, change, and the inevitable decline of both the town and the surrounding family farms, A Little Gleam of Time follows Joe Sexton’s journey from youth, veterinary school, and a young love interrupted by war to the fifties, raising a family, and living life in small-town America.
Joe’s road wouldn’t be the scenic route of youthful imagination. Rather, it would be a pedestrian path—one that a son instinctively vows never to take. But beyond the grand events taking place on the globe, Joe, Mary Elaine, and their nine children represent the triumphs and failures, gains and losses, and loves and despair of a bygone but evocative era of American history.