Local author Pollyanna Bladyka publishes first novel

Pollyanna Bladyka, retired Springfield teacher and author of novel “Rectified”
Pollyanna Bladyka, retired Springfield teacher and author of novel “Rectified.” Photo provided

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Former Riverside Middle School teacher Pollyanna Bladyka retired last June after a 27-year career at the school. She has now published a first novel titled “Rectified” under the pen name Pollyanna Porter, her maiden name. It deals with sexual abuse, betrayal, and what it means to truly do the right thing. Bladyka says, “You have to treat the subject with delicacy.”

She notes that she has gotten a number of good reviews on Amazon, including one by Vicki Thornton, owner of Blair Books and More in Chester, who says, “This is a solid debut novel by a local Vermont author. It is thoughtful as well as heartfelt and heartbreaking.”

Bladyka says her “biggest thrill is people telling me that it is a page-turner. I hadn’t anticipated that.”

Set partly in the fictional ski town of Langdon, Vt., she admits to using Ludlow, where she lived for 11 years, as a model. Her villain is the powerful owner of a ski lodge. The novel jumps back and forth in time between Langdon and Maine. It is the story of a schoolteacher who is having an affair. She goes to see her lover and witnesses a sexual act between an older man and a teenager. The teacher can’t get it out of her head. She then goes the distance to help the teenager, risking and ultimately losing her family in the process. Bladyka says she hopes her story, “Shows how much love teachers have, and how much they will do when a child is in danger.”

"Rectified" by Pollyanna Porter. Photo provided
“Rectified” by Pollyanna Porter. Photo provided

Originally from Lyons, N.Y., Bladyka and her first husband went to Alaska one summer where he worked at a cannery and she was a waitress. They learned that the state was very much in need of teachers. After a brief return, they went back and both taught Kindergarten through 12th grade as “generalists” in a rural school on Kodiak Island. After some years they decided to return to the “lower 48” and sent resumes to a number of school systems. Her husband became a teacher at Black River High in Ludlow, and she did a third grade long-term substitute assignment is Springfield. Bladyka then took a new teacher assignment running the Life Skills Program at Riverside Middle School.

She credits this assignment and her experiences in rural Alaska with giving her insight into the discrepancies of a parent who takes care of their child and one who loses track. She says her editor was impressed with the voices of her young male characters in the book, and she is most proud that she captured those voices. Her story has a strong woman heroine who is a schoolteacher who “shows a great deal of empathy for the children.”

Bladyka says she had never formally written before but had formulated two stories in her mind for years. Just after the Thanksgiving before her retirement she says she started to write “fast and furiously.” With the help of an editor, a book designer, and others, the first idea has now come to fruition.

She says she may start on the other idea this fall. She saw a barn in Barnardston, Vt., and says, “I’ve got a story about that barn.”

“Rectified” will have an online event hosted by the Springfield Library May 25 at 6:30 p.m. Details can be found at www.springfieldtownlibrary.org.

The book is available at local bookstores and on Amazon. Those who order from her website, www.read-rectified.com, will get a signed copy and an opportunity to join a book club Zoom session.

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