PRESTON — What would you do if you saw injustice? Step up or hold back? How do you decide? How can you be sure? What would it mean to intervene? These are questions facing Americans today. They’re also the questions addressed in author Carol Bodensteiner’s new novel "Simple Truth."

"Simple Truth" tells the story of a young woman who takes on a career-making assignment only to discover her client may be exploiting immigrant workers. With each new revelation, she finds herself questioning not only the client but also herself. Ultimately, she must answer: What is she willing to risk to help someone else?

The story took root for Bodensteiner decades ago.

“I’ve always been fascinated by people from history who put their lives on the line to help others,” says Bodensteiner. “People like Esther in the Bible, Harriett Tubman who rescued many enslaved people via the Underground Railroad, Oskar Schindlar who saved Jews during World War II. I always wondered if I’d be so brave.

“While most of us never face a life-threatening situation, most of us encounter circumstances where we can engage or walk on by. In this book, the main character is tested by such situations and finds that the decisions are not easy and the implications are real.”

A Jackson County native, Bodensteiner still considers Eastern Iowa her home. She looks forward to being in Preston on April 7 to talk about her book from 10 a.m. to noon at the Preston Public Library.

Bodensteiner grew up in Jackson County and continues to draw writing inspiration from the people, places, culture and history of the Midwest. She is the author of a memoir "Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl" and the award-winning historical novel "Go Away Home." Her essays have been published in multiple anthologies.

“Growing up on a family dairy farm near Preston set the values I live by, the values that shape my writing,” Bodensteiner says. “I’m always enthusiastic about returning to Jackson County to share my books with family and friends from the area.”

"Simple Truth," her second novel. is available as a paperback at bookstores and as a paperback and ebook through Amazon. It is available locally at Anderson Pharmacy and the Preston Public Library in Preston.

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