Bedford County Historical Society Map


Bedford County Historical Society, Inc.

“As we look to the past,
the future looks to us.”

The Bowl with Gold Seams

by Ellen Prentiss Campbell

The Bowl with Gold Seams
                by Ellen Prentiss Campbell

Acclaimed writer and literary critic Ellen Prentiss Campbell`s debut novel is a moving, intimate story inspired by an unusual chapter in the history of the Bedford Springs Hotel in southern Pennsylvania. During the summer of 1945, the resort served as the detainment center for the Japanese ambassador to Berlin, his staff, and their families.

The novel tells Hazel Shaw`s story as a young Quaker woman working at the hotel among the Japanese, and the further story of the reverberating lifelong consequences of that experience. The final events of the war challenge Hazel`s beliefs about enemies and friends, victory and defeat, love and loyalty. In the ensuing years she remains haunted by memories. Long after the end of the war, an unexpected encounter brings Hazel back to the hotel and she must confront her past, come to terms with her present life, and determine her future. Like the precious bowl she is given, broken centuries before and mended with golden glue, Hazel comes to understand that “even that which is broken is beautiful.”

About the author: Ellen Prentiss Campbell is the author of the short story collection “Contents Under Pressure”, which was nominated for The National Book Award. Her short fiction has been featured in numerous journals including “The Massachusetts Review” and “The MacGuffin”. Her essays and reviews have appeared in “The Fiction Writers Review”, where she is a contributing editor, and “The Washington Independent Review of Books”. She lives in Washington, D.C., and summers in Manns Choice, Pennsylvania, near the Bedford Springs Hotel.

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