Ard autographs her book ‘The Partition of Africa’ at reception

Columbiana native Olivia Folmar Ard (sitting) was honored at a reception and book signing sponsored by the Friends of the Columbiana Public Library spotlighting her new novel "The Partition of Africa." Pictured with Ard are grandmother Gayle Folmar Ard, husband John Ard, father Damon Folmar and grandparents Marie and Bob Hartley.

Columbiana native Olivia Folmar Ard (sitting) was honored at a reception and book signing sponsored by the Friends of the Columbiana Public Library spotlighting her new novel “The Partition of Africa.” Pictured with Ard are grandmother Gayle Folmar Ard, husband John Ard, father Damon Folmar and grandparents Marie and Bob Hartley.

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON

Columbiana native and Montevallo resident Olivia Folmar Ard was recently honored at a reception and book signing at the Columbiana Public Library showcasing her first published novel, “The Partition of Africa.”

The event was sponsored by the Friends of the Columbiana Public Library.

Ard’s novel is the story of a young college student who has always been the “good girl.” Faced with choices that test her moral compass, the sophomore woman succumbs to a forbidden desire and learns the lesson of ill-made choices, facing consequences and redemption.

Ard explained to the attendees her inspiration for the catchy but obscure title.

“The title chose itself,” said Ard during the program. “This book started with the title. I was a history major at the University of Montevallo where I graduated.

“When I studied African history, I learned how Africa was split into colonies for European nations during the Berlin Conference with no input from the Africa nations or tribes. This was so unjust and dehumanized the Africans. I saw my heroine as a young woman who trusts someone and is dehumanized by him.”

“I grew up in a family where education and literature was valued,” said Ard. “My father brought home the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis when I was a little girl. I read ‘The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe’ when I was 5, my first chapter book.

“C.S. Lewis is still my favorite author today. I am currently writing a spinoff of ‘The Partition of Africa’ called ‘The Marshall Plan.’ It is about the struggles of post-college life when so many 20-year-olds are underemployed, in debt from student loans and trying to find their place in this techno world.”

Friends of the Library members who helped with the reception were: Linda Major, Dolores Jones, Ouida Mayfield, Barbara Robinson, Jennie Owens, Peggy Wood, Karen Jenson, Ann Head, Anne Davis, Judi Elliott and Anne Thomas.

Veronica Bailey designed the beautiful floral arrangements. Refreshments were served; Ard’s books were sold and personally autographed.

“The Partition of Africa” is available on Amazon.com.

Contact Ard at Ofa.author@gmail.com; on Facebook at Facebook.com/oliviamarard.author; Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads, @oliviadeard; or her blog, miscellanybyu.wordpress.com.

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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