New historical fiction novel about the dunes just released!

September 15, 2015

Toys in the Closet cover art

Last week I invited my Facebook followers to submit an idea for a blog. it had to be related to the dunes. The one that peaked my interest most was from Trent D. Pendley.

Trent has recently released his book, “Toys in the Closet”, a 794 page historical fiction.

“Toys in the Closet” is an engrossing venture into the rich past of the Indiana Dunes. A story full of Hoosier pride and social justice as viewed through the eyes of a Jewish contemporary at the end of his family’s American Dream. The novel is set in the dunes, right at Kemil Beach (one of my favorite spots). There is also much about Furnessville and the actual 1863 Lewry House, and the store where young Edwin Teale and Alice Gray both shopped and Paul Wilson was once the suspect in a burglary. A maternal grandmother in the story is an early Save the Dunes advocate and her nemesis is a father-in-law that is a board of director of Inland Steel. Athough Trent’s book incorporates the dunes well, it is mainly the story of Nathan Franklin, a contemporary to Edwin Way Teale’s Dune Boy.

“Nathan, a Jewish writer is out-of-season visiting his beach home, on Christmas Day ’97 and exploring the story book rooms of Brighton House, a repository of so many works of art by artists who have painted the dunes and a treasury of family heirlooms each with vignettes of a landed past. Nathan though lonesome on Christmas in the aftermath of a winter blizzard realizes he isn’t alone at all surrounded by his treasures and a very protecting lost lover.”

“Toys in the Closet” is available in paper, hardback and kindle through all booksellers. Pendley will also be at the Festival of the Arts at the Schoolhouse Shop on September 19 & 20 selling paperback copies. The novel lists scores of artists that have painted the dunes and as many authors. So along with the story, you will receive quite a bit of resource!

Trent D. Pendley is a fine jeweler, writer, gardener and collector of fine arts. This is his first book.

Author Trent D. Pendley, photographed by Edda Taylor

Author Trent D. Pendley, photographed by Edda Taylor


Cover stencil art by Eric Smolinski. Design by Ellen Hampton.

1 Comment
  1. Reply

    John C. Turgi

    September 16, 2015

    I’m going to get this and read it.I grew up in the Furness mansion that is now an inn.


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