Waconia girl appears in best-selling novel

By Emily Hedges

Tara Fogarty remembers falling in love with Waconia as a girl. She grew up 30 minutes south of town, but her happiest times were summer weekends spent on Lake Waconia with her family. She recalls driving home exhausted in her dad’s extended-cab pickup truck, looking out over the cornfields where her house now stands.

New York Times Best-Selling author Adriana Trigiani also remembers happy summers spent in Minnesota. During vacations at her grandparents’ home in Chisholm, she heard stories that inspired her latest novel, The Shoemaker’s Wife (Harper 2012).

Years after their carefree days of summer in small-town Minnesota, these two women have made an unlikely connection through the name Emma Fogarty and the story of an amazing girl.

"I remember telling my parents I wanted to live in Waconia someday. I’ve always been drawn to this community and we finally made it," said Tara.

She and her husband Mike moved into the Sierra development when their first daughter, Emma, was an infant. For the next few years life was idyllic, but on Jan. 27, 2009, everything changed. Emma, then a first grader at Southview Elementary, was diagnosed with a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) brain tumor. Due to its location on the brain stem, doctors were unable to biopsy or surgically remove it.

The grim prognosis didn’t stop the …

For more, see this week’s Waconia Patriot.