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The Winter House: A Season of Sharing

by Joan MacCracken, MD 2013

What does an older woman do when she finds herself alone in her later years? Will she live by herself for the rest of her life? Will she look for another husband or partner or move in with her children? The Winter House presents a creative alternative.

I ABSOLUTELY loved the book. What I particularly loved was the way the author constructed it, through conversation. I feel I know these women and was a part of their conversation. MacCracken hit so many issues that women talk about — issues that have affected us all, in one way or another. I found they touched me to the core.
- Leslie McIntyre Thomas, RLA, ASLA Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Winter House is a work of genius for our time. Four older women in a rural community in Maine come to believe that living alone through the winter is a waste of their most precious resources. This book explores the best idea yet for the future of our communities.
- Susan Barrett Merrill, Author of Zati The Art of Weaving a Life Brooksville, Maine

A heartwarming, carefully crafted novel about four women who prove that human relationships have the power of emotional renewal, and that successful aging should be a team sport. The story puts its arm around the reader and asks single women of every age, "Why the hell should we live alone when we could live with a houseful of great women? ….Should my wife survive me, I hope she finds just such a group of great friends with whom to share life, laughter, and the rent.
- Erik Steele, D.O. Columnist for the Bangor Daily News

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Cracked Marbles: Life’s Lessons for a Maine Surgeon

by Dr. Tom Palmer 2009

The book is a collection of splendid stories of the doctor-patient relationship. The author, a practicing surgeon for thirty-five years in Maine, captures the characters and the culture of his region. Tom Palmer writes with humor and sensitivity of a time when physicians had the opportunity to truly know their patients.

“An extremely enjoyable read! One can only hope that medicine will continue to train such caring physicians” - Robert E. Holmberg, MD, MPH

“A must read for young doctors and their patients, and an opportunity for those more senior physicians to recall with fond remembrance those older and maybe happier times.”
- Robert E. McAfee, MD 149th President of the American Medical Association


Trisba and Sula: A Miskitu Folktale from Nicaragua/Una leyenda de los miskitos de Nicaragua

Adapted by Joan MacCracken and illustrated by Augusto Silva 2005

Trisba and Sula is a delightful story from the Miskitu region on the Northeast coast of Nicaragua. The children’s book is bilingual and introduces the reader to both Spanish and English translations on every page. The well-known Nicaraguan artist, Augusto Silva, painted beautiful illustrations. His use of vibrant colors and geometric lines captures the magic and mystery of the tale. Children will delight in seeing the forest animals and plants of Central America. At the end of the skillfully told story, the reader will learn that one should not take more than one needs.

Acclaimed one of the Best Books of 2005 by Criticas Magazine
Awarded the Best Bilingual Book for 2006 by Skipping Stones magazine.

Dr. Joan MacCracken, a retired pediatrician, who has traveled frequently to Nicaragua, donates all the profits from the sale of this book to promote literacy in that country.

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Dr. Joan MacCracken, a retired pediatrician who specialized in pediatric endocrinology, practiced in Bangor, Maine for twenty-three years. Since childhood, she has enjoyed telling and writing stories. Her first book, The Sun, the Rain and the Insulin: Growing Up with Diabetes, published in 1996, described a special family camp, Camp Kee-to-Kin, which operated for thirteen years. In 2005 she adapted a Nicaraguan folktale, creating the book Trisba and Sula, which was awarded Best Bilingual Children’s Book of 2006 by Skipping Stones magazine. MacCracken also edited and published Cracked Marbles, a collection of Maine stories by the late Dr. Tom Palmer of Bangor. For the past six years she has continued her passion for writing by producing her small town’s quarterly newspaper, The Brooksville Breeze.

Her community involvement with the At Home Downeast project stimulated her to think about the folks who prefer to remain in their homes, “aging in place.” She has two children and four grandchildren, and, along with her husband and their dog, lives on the Maine coast.


Trisba and Sula Book Cover
Cracked Marbles Book Cover
The Winter House Cover
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