I had a good time talking about Little Woman in Blue at the Dickinson Library in Whately today. Wendy, the librarian, wore a blue sweater and spread blue cloths over the tables, and Georgia, a member of the Friends of the Library, made blueberry cake for us to have with coffee. I appreciate people who get into a theme. I saw old friends and met book club members. It was lovely to sign books for readers of Little Women, and some buying gifts for mothers, sisters, and daughters: one mom asked me to sign a copy to “another woman in blue.”
We talked about the differences between life and art. I got a little choked up when I talked about May in Paris, which for her turned from a dream into a home. I was asked, “How does it feel to let go of people you spent so much time with?” I replied that the Alcotts still seem with me. Talking about them at the library, or visiting May’s stone in the Concord cemetery: they’re family, forever part of my life. I hope to go back to Orchard House soon, since some objects including a few of May’s drawings and a photograph of her daughter are displayed until the end of November. I’ll see the river again through her eyes. My book is finished and I don’t expect to write more about the Alcotts. I also don’t expect to ever escape their spell.
If you live nearby and couldn’t be at this event, I hope you’ll come to the Jones Library at 7:00 on Tuesday Nov. 17 to hear me talk about May in the context of nineteenth century art. I’ll show slides of her work and that of her teachers, students, and friends. Amherst Books kindly will be there selling copies of Little Woman in Blue, which I hope will be on some peoples’ holiday lists, perhaps along with a book by May’s sister?
In the meantime, it’s back to a notebook and window seat, following one detail — an old imaginary string of pearls — letting it lead me deeper into a plot.
(Whately Library photo taken at a recent library book sale by my husband: photo of me at Sleepy Hollow cemetery Melodye Shore — thank you both!)