Can an image of beauty save your life?
Raised by a cold and secretive family in the wake of her mother’s tragic death, Virginia has always depended on beauty for comfort—art, books, movies, and the view out over the Sierra—although she never knew how much until now, when everything’s happening at once. Everything bad. She can’t seem to recognize beauty anymore, not even when her grandmother gives her the one family heirloom she’s cherished all her life, a shattered but glowing piece of ancient blue stained glass from a French chapel bombed in World War II. She’s brought some of her problems down on herself: though she’s smart and self-reliant, she’s also unsettled and acerbic, which is why Ben just left her, the one man she should have kept. Her beloved younger half-brother may be escaping her too, by taking off again on assignment as a war photographer to the Middle East. And now both her father and grandmother are terminally ill. All the family history they’ve never talked about will die with them, including their memories of Ginnie’s mother and her early, tragic death. Ginnie has almost nothing to remember her by: a handful of stolen snapshots—one in particular—that capture mere seconds of her mother’s life.
"Her footprint in the sand is the only thing in perfect focus. I can count every toe."
Welcome. A little background: in my early writing life, I was a free-lance journalist and wrote about endangered species, among other things. That's how I came across the story that grew into to my first novel, Pleasure of Believing. My second novel, Small Kingdoms is set in the Middle East, where I lived for five years between the two major Gulf wars. I'm now in Oslo, Norway, and want to write a book set in this beautiful place too; but my current work in progress, The Lost Art of Blue, is set in my homeland, the San Francisco Bay. It's an intense story, the first I've ever tried in first-person, so it's a first-first. It's just about done.