Several years ago my husband and I took a trip to Massachusetts to visit our daughter, Megan. For me, the most amazing part of this vacation was when we visited the home of Louisa May Alcott (author of the beloved novel Little Women. As the tour guide led us about The Orchard House, I was mesmerized by the lush greenery of the countryside.
Once inside Orchard House, we ascended the steps leading to the second floor and were delighted to gaze upon the very desk Alcott wrote from as she created this book which has stood the test of time. It impacted me profoundly that Alcott spent years caring for her ailing father as she created Little Women and I suspect creating characters in her novels that sprang from the page no doubt added pleasure to what was no doubt a very mundane time in her life.
After I said my goodbyes to the tiny town of Concord, Massachusetts, I arrived back home to Texas and made the decision to begin a series of novels about four sister’s (the Hanlon girls) who struggle with their father’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Each sister reacts differently to the diagnosis and tries to find a healthy way to coop with the family saga. As I wrote the second book in the series, MY DEAREST CLARE, I thought back to my travels when I visited The Orchard House and felt compelled to bring my heroine, Clare, back to that very special place. Like Alcott, Clare struggles to balance family obligations with her personal life–something we all do on a daily basis.
Odd, isn’t it, how the struggles of one person can mirror another’s over one hundred, fifty years later? As we all live out our lives, may be take pleasure in the accomplishments of those before us and stride to create a lasting legacy to those we love. A happy November to all of you and do take the time to offer Thanksgiving for all of those who’ve impacted your live significantly. In the end, that’s all that really matters.