What does it mean to go home?

What does it mean to go home?

I’ve been asking myself that question, having just spent a few weeks on Long Island, where I grew up.

I wasn’t prepared for how strange it felt to settle in – to travel on the streets I would drive on when I was a kid, to visit restaurants and diners that once felt as familiar as my own dining room, to go to beaches where I’d hang out with friends. To see the Burger King where I once served up Whoppers and fries, the fields where I supervised kids as a camp counselor, the town pool where I swooned over the cute lifeguards!

I was filled with memories I hadn’t thought about in years. Disagreements with my parents, times I felt lonely or awkward, but also glorious summer days that lasted deliciously long or winter mornings when a snowstorm caused the power to go out. My family and I would pull on our parkas and boots and trek to a local diner, where the whole town would gather to enjoy a hot breakfast (thanks to the devoted staff and generator power!) and share information about when things might return to normal.

What do we remember, what sticks in our heads – and why?

I’ve been asking myself those questions as I work on my next novel, which takes place in both present-day Long Island and a tiny island off the coast of Italy in the 1940s. I’m excited about the way memories and family stories drive the decisions of my protagonist, a young scientist grieving over the recent death of her grandmother. This new story releases in May 2023.

Of course, our trip wasn’t all work! Naturally, it included great seafood, some extraordinary bike rides, sunsets, and moonrises – and an awesome visit to Burton’s Bookstore in Greenport, where I found three of my novels on the shelf!

Summer Events

By the way, I have a few appearances coming up in the Northeast this summer, where I’ll be reading from THE LILAC HOUSE and answering questions, and I’ll be teaching some classes this fall. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to get up to date details, or check the events page here on my website. And if you’re not in the area but would like me to speak to your book club via Zoom, I’d be delighted to do that! Just drop me a note!

Book News and Recommendations

I’m reading a lot of historical fiction these days, along with some contemporary stories and one highly recommended autobiography. Here are the books on my list this month:

THE LOST VILLAGE by Daniela Sacerdoti



THE LOBOTOMIST’S WIFE by Samantha Green Woodruff


I’m excited to share that the audio version of THE BLUEBELL GIRLS has just been released. I hope you’ll check it out on Google Play, Kobo, and other sites you like.


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