For our final book club selection before we break for the summer, we’re featuring the second book in Ellen Herrick’s magical Sparrow Sisters series, The Forbidden Garden. It’s the story of Sorrel Sparrow and her rare gift for nurturing plants and flowers. Sorrel travels from her New England home, to an English country estate, where she’s been asked to revive a Shakespeare garden imbued with family secrets. Gardeners, art lovers, and romantics will love the fairy tale Herrick spins. I had chance to interview the author and ask her some questions. She’s also happy to answer any of your questions in the comments field.
Q. You write such beautiful characters in The Sparrow Sisters. How did the idea of the sisters come about? Continue Reading
A friend and I were having coffee when we started talking about how lovely it was not to go out any more. She’d seen a sign in a gift shop that read, Let’s Stay Home, and we both thought it was just beautiful.
The whole Hygge trend, embracing the Danish notion of comfort, reflects that my friend and I are not alone.
Dining out at the new hot restaurant or going to an A-List party has been surpassed by pillows, reading socks and tea.
For March’s book club, we’re discussing Abby Fabiaschi’s novel, I Liked My Life. It’s a beautiful examination of grief, marriage, parenting, mother-daughter relationships, and aging. I’m thrilled the author is able to join us for Q&A. Continue Reading
Whenever there’s a holiday approaching, television networks like to trot out a particular kind of film. Typically there’s a feisty women – either single or divorced – who falls in love with a widower, the most sympathetic of all the male character types. A divorced man or confirmed bachelor is imbued with potential problems, but a widower is a good man capable of great love. What could be simpler? Continue Reading
Whenever it’s around Valentine’s Day, I get asked a lot about divorce and dating. I never know what to say. Yes, I’m successfully repartnered with the boy next door, but unless you’re prepared to buy a lot of houses next to recently single guys… I’m not sure that’s a surefire strategy for meeting your soulmate.
My friends are all very interested in online dating. I totally get the appeal: It seems like an LL Bean catalogue filled with men you get to take home.
Last weekend I attended a yoga weekend at a holistic retreat house. They had lots of snow, and I decided to join the group for snowshoeing. I’ve not been snowshoeing before, but the others were novices too, and the woman leading us seemed to survive on nothing but kale. How strenuous could it be?
This month we’re reading Caroline Leavitt’s Cruel Beautiful World, one of the best received books of 2016. This book, about two sisters in the turbulent late-1960s, is about how family ties are formed and broken. While it covers big topics such as loss, grief, and domestic abuse, it’s also very readable and a popular choice for book clubs this year. It recently won The Pulpwood Queens Book of the Year. I had a chance to interview the author, who also wanted to give us more of a book club experience, recorded a video explaining some of her own backstory and why she felt the need to write this book.
Q. Many of the themes in this book seem timeless. What drove your decision to set this book in the late 1960s? Continue Reading
I just returned from my honeymoon. We took a week on the Crystal Serenity and, boy oh boy… It was hard to leave that ship. Between our honeymoon and my birthday, I was drowned in celebratory champagne. When the drink of the day is champagne and St-Germain – one of my absolute favorites – you know you’ve found your tribe. Continue Reading
I’m excited about Plum Johnson’s They Left Us Everything, our next 1010 Park Place Book Club choice. I hope you loved it as much as I did.
In this award-winning book (that would make an amazing film à la The Family Stone), Johnson chronicles the process of caring for elderly parents, and emptying and selling the family home. As she sorts through her parents’ belongings, she explores the idea of family legacy, validity of memory and how much influence our family has on who we are as adults. She focuses particularly on her often contentious relationship with her mother, who was a larger-than-life Southern belle.
I asked Plum some questions about her book. If you have questions, she’ll be hanging out with us in the comments field and is happy to answer your questions. Continue Reading