Ma Bremer's Boys

Molly Bremer, like any other woman on her wedding day, doesn’t expect to become a single mother.  However, that’s her fate during the trying period of World War II.  Alone in Little Rock with three children and a tight budget.

Like many single moms, she manages.  She has little choice. Over time, her two sons follow wayward paths, extending her trials.  As they grow into manhood, Peter is seduced by avarice and falls in love with money and success, while Bobby, the youngest, bows to his churlish nature and is in constant trouble with the law.

The two brothers and their mother are the focal point of Ma Bremer’s Boys, a new novel by Cedar Rapids author Dale Kueter.  It is his second fiction book.  The first, Motel Sepia, is a story based on a real motel of the same name operated by a Black Cedar Rapids couple in the 1950s.  He has also written two nonfiction books, Vietnam Sons, and The Smell of the Soil.

Keuter is a native of Bellevue, growing up on a farm in Spruce Creek Valley and attending country school there. He graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in 1954, attended Loras College in Dubuque for two years and graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Iowa in 1958.  

That same year Keuter started work with The Clinton Herald, and in 1965 moved to The Gazette in Cedar Rapids. He also served six years with the Iowa Army National Guard.  He retired from The Gazette in 1999, and since then has been involved with a number of non-profit organizations and an active member of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids.

He and his wife Helen have five daughters and 14 grandchildren.

Ma Bremer’s Boys weaves in and out of the Midwest, following Peter Bremer’s involvement in the success and failure of an Iowa packinghouse undertaking in the 1970s and his brush with the IRS and organized crime.  Meanwhile, Bobby Bremer’s conflict with the law escalates to life in prison for bank robbery and the murder of a Kansas state trooper.

While the characters may resemble those encountered in Kueter’s 41 years as a newspaper reporter, the account and dialogue are fictional.  

“I hope the story illustrates in some regard how difficult life can be for a single mother,” Kueter said.  “Molly Bremer is confronted with lifelong challenges. Yet she, like so many mothers, never surrenders her love and dedication for her children – even for two sons who seem bound to trouble.”

Ma Bremer’s Boys may be purchased at The BookWorm here in Bellevue, or ordered from the publisher BookLocker. It is also available on Keuter’s website,