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Gannon’s Cummings Celebrates Debut Novel

Published: 05/04/2023

The Senator's Daughter, debut novel by Gannon's Emily Cummings.

The Senator's Daughter, debut novel by Gannon's Emily Cummings.

Emily Cummings, CHESS Student Services & Communications Specialist, has published her debut novel, The Senator’s Daughter, a work of historical fiction and follows Julia Webster, the daughter of renowned senator Daniel Webster, in 1830's America. 

Emily’s novel began as a short story in her History Senior Seminar class at Gannon in 2009. She was recently reinvigorated to continue writing and ultimately finished the novel during a fiction writing workshop she also took at GU, almost ten years after she finished the short story. Working with Tim Vickey, founder of Next Chapters Publishing in the Erie Technology Incubator, she worked to make her dream a reality. Cover art for the book was done by a graphic artist - and Emily’s family member - Tracy Ratliff.

Learn more, including how to order a copy, on the Next Chapters site, here, and find a brief synopsis below. 

Boston, 1829

Julia Webster has grown up the daughter of the renowned senator Daniel Webster and is confronted with her world turning upside down.  Still grieving the loss of her mother, she learns her widowed father plans to marry a woman he barely seems to know himself.

As she wrestles with this new reality, she learns more than she counted on about her father’s work.  Treasured memories of her late mother’s philanthropic efforts toward Native American causes intertwine with the current reality of Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act which could lead to the displacement of five peoples in the southern United States.  

In the midst of this upheaval, she meets the beguiling Matthew Eaton, the nephew of one of President Jackson’s staunchest allies, who may or may not be on her side.

As Julia continues to throw herself into the cause and considers more drastic action to educate herself further, she’ll be faced with a decision that could cause irreparable damage to her place in her family.  What lengths will Julia go to advocate for a cause she believes in? 

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