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Because I Loved You

Donnaldson Brown

April 11, 2023

Today I talked to Donnaldson Brown about her new novel Because I Loved You (She Writes Press 2023).

Sixteen-year-old Leni O’Hare loves her horse, so when her mother tries to sell it, she rides as far as she can. It’s 1972, and she ends up falling in love with another horse-lover. Seventeen-year-old Caleb McGrath plays football with Leni’s beloved older brother Foy, and dreams of a future far from East Texas. Leni and Caleb fall in love and make the plans of young lovers, but they’re both torn between their desire and following their dreams. Tragedy strikes and turns everyone’s world apart, Caleb’s brother Hank has just returned from Vietnam filled with rage, and Leni needs Hank’s help to escape. Leni and Caleb build their lives separately until they’re pulled together again in New York City in the 1980s. Passion isn’t quite enough in this wide-ranging tale of young love, consequences, and finding home.

An attorney and former screenwriter, Donnaldson Brown ran the New York office of Robert Redford’s film development company for several years. A student of theater (and clowning), her spoken word pieces have been accepted for performance by The Deep Listening Institute’s Writers in Performance and Women & Identity Festivals in New York City, and in the Made in the Berkshires Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She’s been awarded multiple residencies. She is a longtime resident of both Brooklyn, New York, and western Massachusetts, and grew up riding horses on a family ranch in northeast Texas and in her native Connecticut. Ms. Brown is currently a facilitator and trainer with The Equus Effect, offering somatic based experiential learning with horses for veterans, first responders and others struggling with post-traumatic stress injuries. She is certified to teach meditation and several forms of yoga. Ms. Brown is also a proud mother who loves to sing, and cycle, and hike with her dogs.

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