Coming up with titles for my books is usually work. Once in a while, I get inspired part way into the writing process. Truthfully, the norm is a hair pulling battle once the book is completed. Amanda in the Summer was totally different. I STARTED with the title. A piece of paper, folded, put the random words together and my imagination took flight. Growing up, I loved writing letters so telling this story with the use of letters written by three generations of women was so much fun. From a reader’s point of view, it’s a bit like peeping into the private life of these women. They share so much with their close friend, Tilly. Letters are a private communication so the reader is getting an up close and personal view of the lives of each woman that even the other women do not see.
Three generations of women…and the secret that strengthens their love.
A line of women, all named Amanda, stretches back for generations. Each with her hopes, her joys, her pain—each pouring out her heart in correspondence with a dear family friend who shares their lives, understands their loves, and joins in their sorrows.
But within the correspondence lies a secret. And as the youngest of the Amandas retraces the journey through the years—beginning in post-war America and following through to modern day—the letters reveal, layer by layer, the Amandas who came before her. Soon, the truths and lies hidden in the letters lead her down a path of self-discovery that forges a bond between her past and future.
The letters span fifty-seven years, 1947 to 2004.
August 24, 1968
A few days of bliss with no one to talk to but the seagulls. I have you to thank for this. I’m so glad you popped back after Amanda, Robert, and Mother left. The strain I put on all of us while you were here would’ve dragged on for who knows how long if you hadn’t returned. Once again, Tilly, you read the tea leaves and righted thing.
My moods have been so ragged of late. Jealousy of all things. Jealous that you could talk to my daughter, get along so lovely with her, which I’ve had difficulty doing these last few months. Jealous of your longer running friendship with Robert than with me. I’m not sure if I was jealous of him or you. You’re both mine. And angry that the two of you are uncomfortable around each other after so many years and not making sense of that. When Robert left, I tried to give him the blue swimsuit you had left behind and asked him to drop in on you to return it. He said no, I could do it when I got back. This was so unlike him and did more to unsettle me...
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She blogs about prairie life and writing at http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/