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Jane O'Reilly

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Fifteen years ago, Jane O’Reilly found her heart in fiction with the brainstorm to write Vagabonds, a screenplay about estranged siblings who reprise a childhood camping trip in order to claim shares of their father’s estate. Vagabonds earned Jane a McKnight Fellowship in 2001 and since then she has written five novels, several short stories and completed an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University. Jane lives in Southwest Minneapolis with her husband, youngest son, a dog and a cat. A Promise Made, based on her novel and graduate thesis, is her first stage play.

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A Promise Made


Ten-year-old Nettie wants ice skates for Christmas so she can grow up to skate like Sonja Henie, the Olympic Champion. But with eight children, in the midst of the Depression, money is tight for her Norwegian immigrant parents. Nettie gets her skates, but suddenly gives up ice skating for a reason she carries to her deathbed seventy-five years later. Guided by Memory, Nettie revisits key moments in her life, all out of order the way memories are, before her secret is divulged.

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