Becoming Jestina – By Merrill J. Davies
Sixteen-year-old Jessie Thompson reluctantly moves with her mother and older sister to Savannah, Georgia, in the summer of 1943 to work as a welder on the Liberty Ships. Her main goal is to survive long enough to return to Alabama and finish high school. But will she be able to survive when tragedy strikes and she has to learn how to “weld” her life back together amid the uncertainties of the war?
This story, while fictional, may include details from the experiences of Jane Tucker, a close friend of Davies who was a real "Rosie the Riveter," along with several other "Rosies" Davies met through Tucker. The stories Davies heard and read inspired Becoming Jestina, which is dedicated to Tucker and all the other women who worked during World War II and changed the way women participated in the workplace.
Merrill J. Davies
Davies is a retired English teacher, an author, and a life-long learner. She graduated from Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky, with a B.A. in English with minors in Education and French, and began her teaching career in high school English at Lee County High School in Beattyville, Kentucky. Since retirement, Merrill has published four novels and one collection of poetry: The Welsh Harp (2012), The Truth About Katie (2013), Our Pebble in the Pond (2016), Becoming Jestina (2018) and Branches of Love (2019). Learn more about Davies on her author page.