Karen Wood "white mitten" case inspires Mourning Dove
It was November 15th, 1988 when Karen Wood stepped into her backyard in
central Maine and signaled to a deer hunter that he'd ventured to close to
her property adjacent to the woods. Don Rogerson, who mistook Wood's white
mittens for a deer's white flag, shot her dead. She left twin baby daughters
and her husband Kevin, a child psychiatrist who had once enjoyed hunting. In
this highly publicized case, a grand jury never held Rogerson responsible
for Wood's death.
In another new subdivision just down the road from where Karen Wood had
lived and died, another young mother struggled to accept the outcome of the
"white mitten" tragedy. Meg Wilson, formerly Meg Miller, eventually wrote
Mourning Dove as a cathartic measure. "It could have been me, just as
easily, mistaken for a deer behind my house near the woods. Mourning Dove
was my attempt to find peace and move on. I think it worked."
In Wilson's fictional account, the shooting victim is six-year-old Mikey
Young who has set a white swing into motion in his wooded backyard. The
acquitted hunter, Norton Coster, leaves Maine in disgrace with his wife and
young son, Evan. When Norton returns fourteen years later and opens a
restaurant called Mourning Dove (to symbolize his grief and quest for peace)
neither family is equipped to handle what transpires between Evan and
Mikey's grown sister, Gracie.
Mourning Dove was a semifinalist in the 2012 ABNA competition sponsored by
Penguin, finishing in the top 50 of 5,000 novels. Publishers Weekly wrote:
"[Mourning Dove] .is remarkably well handled - the story of young love, the
depth of a parent's grief and depression, and the terrible guilt of having
killed a child....The story is well-written, the characters are clearly
defined, and the targeted audience will be engaged from page one. It will
provide conversation and introspection and, if the reader is a parent, the
need to give your child a hug."
Meg Wilson grew up in Yarmouth, Maine and moved back to the area in 1992.
Her husband Jim is a registered Maine Guide and an avid hunter.
Meg is also author of the young-adult contemporary novel, Crappy New Year.
Currently, she is writing Wander Women, an adventure travelogue that
chronicles ten women as they thru-hike the 2,184-mile long Appalachian
Mourning Dove, a 262-page quality paperback, is available now. Please ask
for it at your local bookstore, or visit www.megwilsonauthor.com to order by
mail or in Kindle form.
Thomas C. Bennett, Director
Prince Memorial Library
266 Main Street
Cumberland, Maine 04021-3607