To Readers

Dear Reader,

The Cape Ann (in print twenty-one years, thanks to all of you) has been re-acquired by Crown, who published in hard cover. The lovely new edition — with study guide — is released under the Three Rivers Press imprint. The cover art (Edward Hopper’s The House on Cape Ann) remains the same, but the rest of the design is elegantly new and eye-catching.

I hope you’ve had an opportunity to read the follow-up to The Cape Ann, Gardenias. Narrator Lark Erhardt, her mother Arlene and her Aunt Betty continue the train trip they began at the end of The Cape Ann, arriving in San Diego during the turbulent and uncertain days of early WWII.

In San Diego, Lark is forced to grow up — more quickly than she would like — taking on new responsibilities and making new friendships as the family settles into a government housing project. Family, she learns, is where you find it. So is trouble.

Regarding The Woman on The Roof and The Woman Who Tried to Be Somebody, projects begun after Gardenias, they’re still in the works but are on the back burner. Why? Because a story hit me like a locomotive, and I had to grab it before it got away. Sometimes it happens that way.

The new book in progress is titled Good-night, Mr. Wodehouse. It returns us to Harvester, Minnesota and characters we’ve grown to care about, our Harvester family. We will see them in a new light and more fully revealed. At the heart of the story is a younr Helen Stillman, mother of the WWI veteran Hilly Stillman, in The Cape Ann. This woman is the real goods. I think she’ll amaze you.

I enjoy returning to characters I’ve written about earlier. Reuniting with them, I find that they are new to me in ways I couldn’t have foreseen, just as the people in my own life are continually revealing unsuspected facets and depths. That is the sort of person I like in my personal world, and the sort of person I like to people my books with.

I wish I could say when the book will be completed. I’m writing as fast as I can, but a good story takes as long as it takes.

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you’ll return. I’d love to hear your comments or questions.

Faith Sullivan

****

Dear Reader,

In September 2006, Milkweed Editions published my seventh novel, “Gardenias,” a follow-up to “The Cape Ann.” In “Gardenias,” narrator Lark Erhardt, her mother Arlene and her Aunt Betty continue the train trip they began at the end of “The Cape Ann,” arriving in San Diego during the exciting and uncertain days of early World War II.

With a magnificent harbor, naval installation, Army and Marine bases, and an emerging defense industry, the Southern California city is a pulsing center of America’s effort to respond to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the threat posed by Hitler’s seemingly irresistable sweep across Europe.

Arlene and Betty are caught up in the brave new world of Rosie The Riveter, U.S.O. canteens and Sunday dinners for soldiers — all of it knitted together with the dark thread of fear for the lives of loved ones and strangers.

Meanwhile, lonely and angry with her mother for dragging her far from home, Lark creates a world inhabited by the souls of the dead — the only people she can count on not to change and not to leave her.

I invite you to read “Gardenias.” If you haven’t read “The Cape Ann,” don’t worry. “Gardenias” stands on its own legs.

But, now, of course, it’s time for me to return to two new books I’ve begun to work on: “The Woman on the Roof” and “The Woman Who Tried to Be Somebody” (working titles). The first is partly set in Minneapolis and partly in the Harvester, Minnesota, that you came to know in “The Cape Ann.” The second is wholly a Harvester story.

I enjoy returning to characters I’ve written about earlier. Reuniting with them, I find that they are new to me in ways I couldn’t have foreseen, just as the people in my own life are continually revealing unsuspected facets and depths. That is the sort of person I like in my personal world, and the sort of person I like to people my books with.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope that you’ll come back, as this site will be updated from time to time.

FAITH SULLIVAN

9 thoughts on “To Readers

  1. Hi Faith. This is Dana Yost, your former writing student at Southwest State. I don’t know if you know, but I finally (!) had a book published last fall — a collection of poetry called “Grace,” published by Spoon River Poetry Press. I would like to send you a copy, if there’s an address to ship it to.

    Thanks! Dana

  2. Just finished “The Empress of One,” and loved it! Your use of language is so rich and accomplished that, while on the one hand I want to know how the characters end up, on the other hand I hate for the book to end – I won’t be hearing from those interesting people any more!

    Any plans to write about Lark, Sally, and Beverly from Beverly’s perspective?

    A fan in Tennessee

  3. Dear Faith, I heard you speak tonight at the Stillwater library–I was the one gushing all over you. Bless you for sharing your gift of writing–you are amazing. I will keep my eye out for any local opportunities to hear you speak again…I feel a very special kinship with you!
    Zanny (daughter of another Faith!)

  4. Hello, I just finished reading ” The Cape Ann”. It is a beautiful story in the eyes of a child. I am anxious to read ” Gardenias”. Thank you for your wonderful work.

  5. I hate to even dare interrupt your creative flow, so I post only briefly to say I have delighted in your Harvester novels and in “Mrs. Demming and the Mythical Beast”, the book that introduced your writing to me and which has haunted me (in a beautiful, moving way) ever since.

  6. So excited to hear of your new book! I’ll be purchasing it as soon as I can at my local independent bookstore. Congratulations to you Faith and I hope you’ll come to Alexandria MN again to share your newest novel with our Friends of the Library group as you have done in the past!

  7. RJB Just read Cape Ann again. Better this time. I think I knew Lark during school days in Harvester, Minn. Growing up in those days was indeed a challenge for any 6 year old. (depression,war, disease) But of course Lark is precocious and figures things out in her own mind just fine. A great biography of the challenges of growing up in small town Minneksota.

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