Book Details

The Finest Hat in the Whole World

Two Damaged Souls, A Lifelong Journey, An Unforgettable Story

     A volatile little girl and a man haunted by tragedy begin a lifelong journey of healing in this touching award winning novel of mutual respect, devotion, and redemption.

     Spanning the years 1917 through 1937, "The Finest Hat in the Whole World"follows Des Stewart and his niece Phena through the decades of the Great World War, flu pandemic, Prohibition, and the Great Depression. Yet, the world's turmoil is nothing compared to that of their fractured family.

      Des Stewart, "the responsible one," of his siblings,  has put his life on hold to care for his widowed invalid mother who is gradually slipping into senility. Now thirty years old, he tends bar at a saloon close to home. Burdened with guilt, secrets, and regrets, he is depressed, overweight and apathetic about his future.

      An opportunity for redemption arrives in the winter of 1917 when his nine year-old niece, Phena, comes to live with him. Troubled, temperamental and hot-tempered, the girl has exhausted the patience of her parents. However, Des and Phena have a bond that originated the night of her traumatic birth, a bond that distance and circumstance could never break.

     Can Des overcome his insecurities and bitterness as he molds Phena into an honorable woman?

      And...what does it mean to wear the finest hat in the whole world?

Author Details

Colleen A. Parkinson
Colleen A. Parkinson is the award winning author of the harrowing play, "The Injured Child," and the poignant one-act play, "Waiting For The Train." She has also penned book reviews for The Mississippi Rag and other periodicals. "The Finest Hat in the Whole World," her first published novel, has been widely praised for its lyricism, compelling story, and intimately-drawn characters. Published in e-book and soft-cover format, it is available through many online booksellers, including and Besides writing and theater, her interests include American History, genealogy, literary classics, and every kind of music, with a special love for the tunes of the 1920's through 1940's. Colleen believes in performing anonymous acts of kindness whenever the opportunity arises, giving back to her community, encouraging the discouraged, and always - always - paying it forward.