Real life serves as the best fodder for novels, but not simply isolated incidents. Sometimes everyday life, or the climate of the times, is every bit as suggestive as one newsworthy event.
This moment in history is a difficult one for many individuals and families, and it seems clear that the end isn’t yet in sight. No matter who or what political party is elected in November, change takes time.
Thinking about this, it seemed clear to me that while many people are being helped by organizations and bureacracies, many more are being helped by individuals who reach out to them. These unsung heroes do everything from stocking food banks to taking in a homeless family. Most of the time we never hear about them.
I’ve always been impressed by the way women, in particular reach, out on a personal level. Hot meals to bereaved families. Rides or grocery shopping for elderly neighbors. Child care for the beleagured. These acts of kindness are even more necessary now, and time after time, women who are suffering themselves still seem to find ways to help others.
I wondered what would happen if a small group of women informally banded together to take chances and reach out in any way they could. What kind of changes could they create? What would motivate them to begin?
The story of Charlotte Hale began to form, a woman whose own mistakes have finally come back to haunt her. Charlotte, who rejects the notion that time is an insurmountable barrier, believes it’s not too late to make a difference. She begins by changing herself and seeking forgiveness. As she does, the world around her changes, too, with far-reaching consequences.
Of course the first real requirement of any novel is a riveting, conflict-driven story, and so first and foremost, I set out to make certain Charlotte had such a story to tell. I hope you’ll think I succeeded.