The story takes place in Northern California in the spring of 2000, when the dot-com boom was at its peak. Elizabeth Reilly-Hayden is a successful executive in her late fifties and a divorced mother of two. Emotionally armored and living alone, she wants only to maintain the status quo: her long-term significant other, her job, and her trusted friends-five feisty women whose high school friendship has carried them through multiple marriages, dramatic divorces, and maddening menopause. Yet in a matter of
days, the three anchors that have kept her moored are ripped away.
The group of lifelong pals gathers at Lake Tahoe to attend to the funeral arrangements of their beloved friend, and tries to unravel the mystery of her death. Through their shared tragedy, Liz learns how disappointment and grief can bloom into healing and hope.
- What inspired you to write this book?
For years I had thought about writing a novel about the value of enduring female friendship, but life kept getting in the way. In 1997, a friend sent me the book, “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” After I read the book, I slammed the cover shut and said, “It’s time.” Shortly thereafter, I quit my job in corporate America and began to write. The book was published in 2009 and has been optioned for the big screen.
- What topics in your book or background do you think book clubs would find interesting?
The themes include our rigid clinging to control over our personal and professional lives and our reluctance to reach out for help when we most need it. The overall theme is how friendships can add meaning to our lives.
- Tell us about your career outside of writing and how it influence your writing.
I am a Human Resources Consultant with over twenty-five years of experience in all aspects of Human Resources. During my career, I have had the opportunity to work with and observe hundreds of people, all with unique personalities, quirks and behaviors. It gives me great fodder for my characters.
- Describe your style of writing
I don’t plot. I start with a kernel of an idea, develop my cast of characters and let them take the story where they want it to go. I write in a film-ready style with lots of dialogue and vivid scenes.
- Which authors have inspired you?
Obviously, I have to say Rebecca Wells. Had I not read her book, I might not have embarked on a writing career. I also love Richard Russo’s self-deprecating humor and interesting characters.
By: Judith Marshall