Once Called Home

Memories from a dusty outpost in the veld.

JUST RELEASED!

Whitewashed Jacarandas

By Diana Polisensky

A young Jewish doctor, married to a gentile, confronts dread disease, Victorian work practices, race prejudice and municipal complacency in an African Colony after WWII.

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About Whitewashed Jacarandas

Hope Looms in a Vast Land Wide Open with Possibilities…

Jobs are scarce after WWII but Doctor Sunny Rubenstein lands an appointment in Southern Africa at a gold mine. Attached to it is the smallest municipality in the world, Umzimtuti. Surgically competent and self sufficient, Sunny anticipates a free rein in this backwater where dread disease is still commonplace. He needs to save his marriage to Mavourneen and overcome the mine management, the hospital matron and the entrenched mayor to bring Umzimtuti into the 20th century.

He decides to stand for council but Mavourneen and the small Jewish community worry that rising hostilities in Palestine against British occupation threaten his chances. Furthermore, King George VI and the Royal Family are due to stop off for afternoon tea at the Railway Park on their Victory Tour. Though Empire is on the wane, fervor for King and Empire have never been higher in Umzimtuti.

Based on real events, this is the story of conflicting values, small minds and big ideals of a Colonial era that is seldom portrayed.

Read Chapter 1Free Sample

About Diana Polisensky

Diana Polisensky is a recluse living in a tree house on the edge of the Pacific. When colonialism was still respectable she was born into a medical family and grew up in a swimming pool in Africa. She crossed the Atlantic as a young woman and experienced life on all three American coasts, ending her career in genetic engineering behind the hedges at Rice University in the Lone Star State. Whitewashed Jacarandas marks the first installment in an epic saga chronicling the end of the colonial experience in Southern Rhodesia.

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Upcoming Events!

Diana's a highly sought after speaker on anything from runaway railway trains to entertaining Royalty. Diana's 2016 calendar is filling up fast. To discuss a topic that would entertain your audience email Diana.

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  • Sat
    15
    Aug
    2015
    11-3pmLincoln City, OR

    Spend an afternoon with Diana and 25 of Oregon's most celebrated authors.

  • Sun
    20
    Sep
    2015
    2 - 4 PMNewport, OR

    Join Diana in Newport's celebration of  National Women's Day honoring especially this year our talented and varied writers and artists.

  • Sat
    26
    Sep
    2015
    10-4pmFlorence, OR

    Historic Florence offers a great opportunity to join Diana and 69 of Oregon's best writers for book signings.

  • Sat
    10
    Oct
    2015
    3-5pmConnie Hansen Gardens, Lincoln City, OR

    Join CHG for apple cider and Matron Griffin's to-die-for shortbread and other cookies before Diana chats about the evolution of the book, and publication process, answers your questions and signs your books. (PS It's rumored she might have copies of the celebrated shortbread recipe to hand out!)

  • Tue
    10
    Nov
    2015
    10-noon Salishan Lodge, Salishan, OR

    Diana will be guest speaker Reading Between the Lines of Whitewashed Jacarandas at OCLI.  Please join her as her guest at this 85 member Institute for the morning. Lunch with her afterwards at Salishan's celebrated Sun Room where she will continue the discussion informally.

     

  • Sat
    14
    Nov
    2015
    1-4pmSalem Public Library,  Salem OR

    Come with your Christmas list and browse the books of over 45 authors in the gorgeous lobby of Salem's Library.  Diana will be there selling and signing.

  • Sat
    09
    Jan
    2016
    2-3.30 pmNewport Public Library, OR

    Diana will be giving insights into the writing and publishing of Whitewashed Jacarandas in a powerpoint presentation with lots of time left for questions and answers followed by book signings.

     

  • Wed
    10
    Feb
    2016
    7-9pmPrivate Book Club, Newport, Oregon

    Diana looks forward to being steered in any direction with a lively discussion stimulated by book club members who have read Whitewashed Jacarandas.

  • Wed
    24
    Feb
    2016
    11am-1pmCoronado Shores, OR

    I'll share insights into my book writing process and publication while we munch on our sandwiches before hostess Becky Yasenchak, author of the  cookbook "Beyond the City Limits", brings out the dessert and coffee.

  • Mon
    04
    Apr
    2016
    1pm-3pmPrivate Residence, Boerne, TX

    Yeehaw!!! I’m headed back to 10 Gallon Country. I’ll grab myself a new Rustler Stetson and cowboy boots on 6th Street in Austin before I visit the LBJ Presidential Library and head to the Cordillera Ranch Book Club in the very heart of the Hill Country for an afternoon of book talk over tea and cakes. I’m hoping Lady Bird Johnson’s wild flowers will be at their peak all over the place. Afterwards I’ll tour the LBJ Ranch with old friends before I blog back to y’all.

  • Thu
    14
    Apr
    2016
    5pm-9pmPrivate Residence, Newport, OR

    Mix and muse before a sit down dinner, then we tuck into dessert, coffee and liqueurs and by that time a no-sweat discussion on Whitewashed Jacarandas.  Really looking forward to joining this wonderful group of women.

  • Fri
    15
    Apr
    2016
    2pm-4pmPrivate Residence, Salishan, OR

    Ordering up a sunshine afternoon to look over Siletz Bay as we discuss Whitewashed Jacarandas over dessert and coffee.

  • Wed
    04
    May
    2016
    7am-4pmLobby and Cafeteria North Lincoln Hospital, Lincoln City, OR

    Diana will be the featured guest author at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital Spring Book Sale held in cooperation with Bob's Beach Books and benefits the Hospital Auxiliary.

  • Sat
    20
    Aug
    2016
    10.30-2.30 pmBob's Beach Books Plaza, 1747 NW Hwy 101 Lincoln City, 97367 OR

    Join Diana and over 30 other Oregon authors for book signing at this very popular annual event. There will be a book to interest all members of your family.

  • Sat
    24
    Sep
    2016
    10 am-NoonAbbotsford House, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Through the Garden gate 20160525_134113 copy      Vanessa Shapiro will host a celebration of Diana's oncecalledhome short stories and the South African launch of her historical novel Whitewashed Jacarandas. Join the crowd for tea, talk and fellowship.
    RSVP
    http://www.oncecalledhome.com/2016/07/going-home-come-for-tea/
    Directions will follow closer to the time.

  • Mon
    03
    Oct
    2016
    3:00 pmSkype Conference 3pm GMT

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    NOTE TIME IS 3pm GMT or 7am Pacific.  An early start to the week for me!  Join us in Scotland or wherever you are!
    Skype dpolisensky to connect.

  • Sat
    19
    Nov
    2016
    1:00 pmSeaside Public Library, 1131 Broadway Street, Seaside, OR 97138

    Diana will discuss the writing process and how her  family memoir evolved to embrace the essence of small town life in the place she oncecalledhome.