21 Yesterdays


Experience turn of the century life in a small Midwestern town where the visit of President McKinley causes reporters to miss a nearby manned flight more than four years before the Wright Brothers. Attend the last concert of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens in Iowa before their tragic plane crash in 1959. Witness the disruption of family life when sex scandals within their church challenge their beliefs and values. Observe how an advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell loses the respect of his extended family that disputes positions both have taken during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Feel the psychological trauma, and occasional renewal, of those whose lives have been upset by unexpected career altering circumstances. These and other events are captured in this collection of short stories where real and fictional characters interact in historically meaningful situations.

21 Yesterdays cover


Author Joseph E. Pluta
Publisher FriesenPress
Release Date January, 2013
Book Type Short stories
Genre Fiction, Historical
Length 240 pages
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4602-1215-8
eBook ISBN 978-1-4602-1353-7


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11 Responses to “21 Yesterdays”

  1. Stan Gordon March 18, 2016 at 1:07 am #

    So glad this book has gone through a second printing with a new publisher. I have tried to get a copy from Amazon for several months now and they have been sold out. Many friends have recommended this author to me and this short story collection specifically. It was well worth the wait. The stories are great!

  2. Sally Crandall August 5, 2015 at 2:40 am #

    Many different genres are represented in this marvelous collection of well-written stories. A reader has to be impressed with the historical accuracy displayed in this well-researched work of historical fiction. By far, however, the most creative and captivating efforts are in the area of romance. These plots are innovative and thoughtful; the characters are seemingly everyday men and women with realistic human traits. Human weakness is on display with very few happy endings. The serious reader will be challenged and entertained by the latest work of this talented and well-known author.

  3. Mitchell Greenberg May 18, 2014 at 4:27 am #

    These stories are a combination of hilarious, irreverent, and entertaining. And yet there is a serious message in each of them. The collection is beautifully written, there is warmth in the author’s prose, and the settings are historically accurate. Fiction and reality come together nicely in these memorable “yesterdays”.

  4. Harold Grieg March 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    This is really a terrific collection of stories. I have been reading this author for many years. Love his insight into the human condition. He places fictional people alongside prominent historical figures with ease. If you’d like to feel as if you were present at some important event, read these stories. They are brilliant!!!

  5. Meredith Sepulveda October 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    These short stories make for a very fulfilling read. They are all just a little different, indicating the author’s diversity and flexibility. They consist of lively prose and characters that are easy to either love or dislike. Although I had not heard of this writer before, I now want to read more of his work. This is pretty serious stuff!

  6. Johanna Heflin July 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    What a special group of spellbinding stories. “Family Freak” leaves you guessing: which character is in fact the freak? “The Secret” makes you wonder how many people have one that is similar? “Corporate Etiquette” exposes the lack thereof in a most penetrating look inside one of America’s high profile industrial giants. “The Old Lady at the Ice Skating Rink” is magical and warm. All 21 stories are well worth the read. Superb plots and very entertaining.

  7. William T. Birch May 27, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    I thoroughly enjoyed every story in this collection. The writer takes you to many different places in settings that anyone with knowledge of 20th century American history will appreciate. You may not have been present at each of these events but, after reading these stories, you will feel as though you were. All stories are precisely detailed, spectacularly written, and historically accurate. The fictional component is cleverly conceived and nicely integrated into actual events. Highly recommended!

  8. Leon Rhodes May 5, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    This is the author’s best book yet. Each story is captivating, realistic, and nicely written. There are a number of authors who write historical fiction set in Michigan. Pluta makes you feel as if you are actually in each place he writes about. He is by far the best of the Michigan writers.

  9. Christopher M. March 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Imagine 3 teenage boys running into Buddy Holly and his fellow musicians in a small Iowa town just days before they died. The teenagers here are fictional but many did meet the Holly/Valens/ Big Bopper trio on that fateful trip. I am a “Day the Music Died” fanatic—all events captured in this story actually happened. “21 Yesterdays” rocks!

  10. Roberto L. March 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    The stories in “21 Yesterdays” are filled with deeply human emotions, humor, complex yet realistic characters, and are set in historically accurate situations. I especially enjoyed the account of the man who flew before the Wright Brothers and was neglected by the otherwise occupied local press. I checked with the town library—-the story is true!

  11. Berniece Krawczyk January 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    “21 Yesterdays” is destined to be a classic. Great prose, penetrating insight, and a unique approach. Masterful!!! I hope he has more books on the way.

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