Award-winning author Johnnie Bernhard has written four novels: A Good Girl, How We Came to Be, Sisters of the Undertow, and Hannah and Ariela. Reviews are calling Hannah and Ariela her “best and bravest.” Bernhard’s novels focus on the family, social issues, and the human condition. She served as a 2020 TEDx speaker for the Fearless Women Series. Her TEDx talk and author interviews may be found on YouTube and her website, JohnnieBernhardAuthor.com.
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
State Capitol, House Committee Room 2
Human(un)kind: Addressing Racial and Social Justice through Fiction
Johnnie Bernhard, Susan Cushman, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, and John Warner Smith with Robert Mann
2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Cavalier House Bookselling Tent
Hannah and Ariela: A Novel
When Hannah, a seventy-three-year-old widow, finds the semiconscious body of a fourteen-year-old Mexican national in a ditch along a remote central Texas road, she has no idea someone is watching. Not until the girl’s brutal attacker arrives at Hannah’s door in the middle of the night, threatening not just the girl’s but Hannah’s very survival. Ultimately the question of justice for a victim of human trafficking and the woman who helps her lies in the hands of a biracial border patrol officer and an unconventional small-town sheriff.
The I-10 corridor of Texas connects saints, demons, and victims as the ultimate question of life and death is decided by two strangers fate has bound together. They must make a hard choice in order to survive: either follow the law or follow their consciences.
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