Strawberry Summer book cover

Strawberry Summer

By Harold William Thorpe

ISBN: 1-942586-60-4



In the fourth and final book of The O’Shaughnessy Chronicles, septuagenarian Catherine O’Shaughnessy spends her days tending her English cottage garden and basking in memories of lost loved ones. If only her son, Bill, wouldn’t worry so much about her living alone. His concerns seem well-founded, however, when Catherine starts receiving mysterious late-night phone calls and a neighbor sees a shadowy figure stalking her property. Adding to Catherine’s woes, she receives some troubling news about her sister, Ruby. Did a long-ago mean-spirited act by Ruby cause Catherine to lose her one chance at happiness?

Some beloved friends re-enter Catherine’s life, and she is confronted with several choices for her future. Could she start a new life—even a new business—when most people have settled into retirement? And could a mutual love of rhubarb strawberry pie be the basis of a new friendship over a memorable Strawberry Summer?

180 page softcover, 5.75 x 8.75 inches

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Harold William Thorpe

Harold William Thorpe grew up in Southwest Wisconsin. He spent many happy hours visiting his relatives’ farms. During his teen years he de-tasseled corn, worked two summers as a live-in farm laborer, one summer as a Surge milking machine sales and service man, and part of another summer as a U. S. Department of Agriculture field man.

He graduated from the University Wisconsin-Platteville with a bachelor of science degree in education. He worked for 11 years in Janesville, Wisconsin, first as a fifth-grade and special education teacher, then the last four years as a school psychologist. He earned a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a doctorate in education from Utah State University.

After earning his doctorate, he took a position at UW-Oshkosh. There, he initiated a program to prepare students to teach children with learning disabilities. For the next 25 years he taught behavior management, instructional strategies, and research classes. He supervised student teachers and graduate students, and served in administrative positions as a graduate program coordinator, a department chairperson, and a college associate dean.

But his first love was conducting the research that produced more than 25 publications in education and psychology journals, including Remedial and Special Education, Computers in the Schools, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Journal of Special Education Technology, Psychology in the Schools, Learning Disability Quarterly, Corrective and Social Psychology, Education and Training of the Mentally Retarded, and others.

Near the end of his university career he headed a research project that resulted in the return of $52 million from the U.S. Department of Education to Wisconsin schools.

Upon retirement, he decided to learn fiction writing—subsequently publishing three O’Shaughnessy Chronicle books: Giddyap Tin Lizzie, Bittersweet Harvest, and Puppet on a String. Strawberry Summer is the last book in the O’Shaughnessy series.

He also wrote books for each of his four grandchildren. These publications include three chapter books: Wyatt’s Woods, Aubrey’s Attic, and Grayson’s Garage, and one picture book: Bellamy’s Ball.


“When taken individually, Strawberry Summer is a satisfying standalone story of an aging woman’s acceptance of her life journey, the fact that she can’t change the past, and her revised purposes for a better future. As part of the series, it provides a fuller flavor to its predecessors by continuing the O’Shaughnessy family legacy and exploring evolving facets of Catherine’s life and connections to it.

Readers seeking a cozy novel of family interactions, aging, and renewed purpose will find Strawberry Summer quietly compelling and warmly revealing.”

Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review