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‘Surrender to the Unknown’: Local Writer Pens Debut Historical Romance

Rebecca Mattson’s new novel features a century-old family mystery and mysterious artifacts

Barbara Arnold |

If you’re looking for a fun (and local) novel to read this summer, look no further: Surrender to the Unknown – the debut novel of retired Eau Claire schoolteacher Rebecca Mattson – is a romance novel with a strong historical bent. The book opens with public historian Caitlin Sullivan and her sister hauling some of their deceased mother’s things up into the attic, only to discover an old steamer trunk filled with artifacts and photos. Like opening a can of worms, their find renews a desire to solve a century-old family mystery. Caitlin, who considers herself unlucky in love, takes on the challenge of tracking down some of their living relatives in Ireland. By chance, she runs into Donovan O’Malley, an Irish veterinarian who assists during a medical emergency of a passenger on their international flight, and the magnetic pull between the two is strong. From there, fate seems to step in. Surrender to the Unknown is available for $13 at The Local Store and the Chippewa Valley Museum Gift Shop, as well as through select online retailers.