At the Library

Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library

Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library

I am working on my new novel, doing most of my research at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library in Old Lyme, Connecticut.  The 1897 brick building sits on a small hill, shaded by venerable oaks and maples, its curved granite steps and white columns graceful and inviting. Lots of writers have worked here including my friends David Handler and Dominick Dunne.  We all set some of our novels in fictional versions of Lyme or Old Lyme.  David's is Dorset, Dominick's was Prud'homme, and mine is Black Hall.

           The old part of the library contains a reading room that feels cozy, a literary home.  Its walls are lined with landscapes by plein air painters who visited town around the turn of the last century. They stayed at Miss Florence’s boarding house just a half mile along Lyme Street and set up their easels to paint the local beauty: hills of mountain laurel, cottage gardens, tidal inlets, rocky shores.  Over a hundred years later, many of the scenes they chose are unchanged.

            Old Lyme is located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, where it flows into Long Island Sound.  There is water everywhere.  Creeks, streams, marshes, and five small rivers create a particular quality of light that attracted the artists.  The light is both delicate and intense, changing the landscape from second-to-second. 

            The Tonalists founded the Lyme Art Colony, joined later by painters who gave birth to American Impressionism. I am inspired by this place just as the artists were; it's been the setting of nearly all my novels.

             The library’s reading room has a fireplace. Years ago, when I was nineteen, I wrote at this same table and often saw Dr. C. Philip Wilson, the father of a friend, sitting in an armchair beside the fire, engrossed in the New York Times or a book.  It gave me comfort to see him there. He was kind and understanding, always interested in what I was writing.  

            Dr. Wilson was a well-known psychiatrist in New York City, and he and his family spent summers here (as my family did.)  He was tall, with dark hair and a serious, almost penetrating gaze that relaxed into a warm smile.  I felt him wondering what I was doing all day-every day at our small-town library instead of at college while his son, my age, was off at Princeton.  He made it very easy to tell him that I had dropped out of college because of depression.  As the season went on, he would ask how I was doing, and I remember how he would listen with quiet compassion, and encourage me to keep writing. I wonder whether he realized how much those conversations meant to me.

            He made me feel as if I mattered.  It was a tremendous gift to a troubled young writer.  Over the years he and his wife would come to my readings at the library and local bookstores.  I still have notes they sent me, filled with generous praise, cheering me on.  Once the three of us ran into each other at the Florence Griswold Museum, for an exhibit of works by Bruce Crane.  His palette was reserved, unlike the bright, sunny colors of summer gardens and sparkling blue coves used by many of his American Impressionist friends. 

Bruce Crane, The Waning Year, 1884.  Oil on canvas, 42 x 72".  

Bruce Crane, The Waning Year, 1884.  Oil on canvas, 42 x 72".  

            Crane seemed to favor autumnal, elegiac and slightly melancholy scenes, such as one of an autumn marsh, with tawny reeds and tarnished silver waters.  I remember standing with the Wilsons in front of a winter landscape—a snow field against a pewter sky, the horizon a narrow, brilliant slash of orange.  We stared at it for a long time, as if watching an actual sunset, waiting for the sun to go down.  

            The painting, and Crane’s canvases in general, drew me in. I felt an exhilarating darkness in his work.  Crane had spent years visiting Old Lyme.  His wife Jeanne was hospitalized with mental illness.  In 1902 he divorced her and married his stepdaughter, Jeanne’s daughter Ann. 

            I didn’t know those details at the time, but now I wonder if Dr. Wilson sensed Crane’s family pain, if that was why he’d regarded that sunset painting with such deep attention.  Or perhaps I’m just, in retrospect, imputing the compassion he felt for me and others to the artist and his family.

            Not long before Dr. Wilson died, I ran into him in the city, on Fifth Avenue.  The day was sunny, and across the avenue Central Park was cool and green.  I felt so happy to walk with him for a few blocks.

            We caught up on news about our families and books—he too was a writer.  I wish I remembered more of the details of that talk, but what stays with me was the familiar warmth, the sense of his fathomless interest and curiosity in the world.  Parting, we said we'd see each other in Old Lyme.

            That was the last time I saw him.

            These days, working in the reading room, I miss Dr. Wilson.  I glance over at the armchair by the fireplace and can still see him there, still hear his voice and feel his presence.

             The loveliness of an old library is carried through time by the ghosts who loved it in their day. the stacks hold memories of the many dear readers, the many dear friends. The library holds many stories, including our own.

The reading room.

The reading room.

 

 

My Other Family

When I was ten I joined a second family.  Although I loved my own, one day after school I stumbled down a flight of stairs into the Whitneys' garden at 588 Lincoln Street, and fell in love with all of them.  Mrs. Whitney was the most intrepid mother imaginable.  She wasn't protective and introspective, internal and artistic like my own mom--she encouraged adventure, travel, and exquisite, borderline danger.  She climbed the highest trees, taller than any rooftop, and I followed.  She'd take the family skiing at Mad River Glen (whose motto is "Ski it if you Can") and like the Pied Piper led us all slicing down black diamonds--the iciest, most mogul-ridden trails on the mountain.  She taught me to do backbends and back-walkovers, how to ride a bike no-handed, and how balance across a narrow ledge above a steep waterfall and not look down or be afraid.  She told me stories about teaching in Panama, Switzerland, and New York, and she ordered me to find a way to live overseas at some point in my life.  (Eventually I did--I moved to Paris.) She said that in Panama she'd take her students up on the school roof just to grab a bit of fresh air, and in New York she shared a small Gramercy Park apartment with another young woman and they'd dance the night away and have to prop their eyelids open to teach the next morning.  

Mrs. Whitney (she wanted me to call her Betty Anne, and it was a hard transition--she was of another generation; in fact, as she put it, she was my other mother, and since I couldn't call her "Mom," having one of my own, I had long since settled on "Mrs. Whitney") and I stayed close throughout life.  When I dropped out of college for depression, she gave me Sibelius and James Galway records and told me cross-country skiing would help me, that I would feel more alive in the cold, gliding over the snow.  After she sold the house in New Britain (the year the twins were born the family had moved to 655 Lincoln, conveniently just across the street from us,) she relocated to St. Simon's Island and became a bookseller at G.J. Ford Bookshop.  She instantly became part of the community, and she loved recommending books and hearing what everyone was reading.  They invited me down for a signing several years ago, and I loved seeing her in action.  When I ran into Mary Jane Reed, the store owner, at Winter Institute earlier this year, we hugged and tearfully had a Betty Anne Whitney moment--it was the first time we'd seen each other since she died.

That was something I couldn't face at the time.  Death is part of life, and Betty Anne was decidedly unsentimental about it.  But losing someone so important to me, a person who was integral--I'd call her every week, or she'd call me, we'd laugh and cry about everything, she'd help me make sense of the vagaries of relationships, and more than anyone she'd celebrate my books--the writing of them, their publications, she was as proud as my real mother was before she died--was seriously impossible to bear.  I dealt with it in a very private way, and for a while it was too hard to talk to the other people who had loved her so.  Including, and especially...her four children.  

A Whitney-esque day at the beach.

A Whitney-esque day at the beach.

See, they are the other part of my other family.  To say I adore them is an understatement.  I babysat them every single day after school from when I was ten until I went to college.  Tobin was already born when I started, and I held Sam the day she came home from the hospital.  The twins, Sarah and Palmer, were the sweetest, and I couldn't put Sarah down--I carried her everywhere, and her mother used to joke she was glued to my hip.  Tobin has always been graceful and thoughtful, a caring teacher at a school for the deaf, Sarah is director of alumni relations at St. Joseph University, Palmer is a successful businessman who shares his dad's love of sailing.  All have amazing families. 

Yesterday I had the most wonderful visit from Sam.  She and her three children are on vacation, staying in a hobbit house in Topanga.  We spent the day together, and in typical Whitney-fashion this involved climbing on the craggiest, steepest, most precarious rocks, taunting surf that was smashing against the cliffs, and finding a restaurant that allowed for running around after dinner because there is so much energy.  We also needed books, because this is a majorly reading family.  Sadie, my goddaughter, is an epic reader and a talented writer, Annie loves all books and gave me several fantastic book reports as we scrambled up to lifeguard station #3, and Tobin knows every spell in Harry Potter and also beat me very skillfully in a ruthless game of Dots.

Sam, Sadie, Annie, Tobin, and Sam's old babysitter

Sam, Sadie, Annie, Tobin, and Sam's old babysitter

And Sam...how to describe how much I love her?  She is an inspiration to me.  A Telemark skier, a back country hiker and camper, the most caring woman ever.  She went to Tibet with One Heart, to bring life-saving childbirth practices to the women there, she and her sister Sarah worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and she is now a nurse-midwife for the most at-risk moms and babies in Salt Lake City.  In DREAM COUNTRY I called her "the best midwife in the west," and she is.

Quintessential Sam.

Quintessential Sam.

Oh, how life comes around.  I grew up babysitting Sam, and now she has great kids of her own.  I feel so lucky to have them in my life.  I love that they are as daring as their grandmother would want them to be, and also that they are readers of the first magnitude.

Two of the young readers.

Two of the young readers.

A Day of YA at the NYPL

A week ago I was at the New York Public Library, doing a panel for the NYC Teen Author Festival.  This was great and illuminating for me in so many ways.  First, the NYPL.  My favorite building in New York, a haven for readers and writers, its wide front steps facing Fifth Avenue and guarded by lions Patience and Fortitude.  As a young writer, before having a book published, I spent countless hours in the reading room (because my apartment was too small/cold/dark, pick one or all) writing and doing research.  Little did I ever suspect that one day I'd have a book published and be on a panel there, right there in the library, with wonderful writers.

But mainly it was great because of the people involved.  David Levithan moderated the panel on perspectives.  I sat on the stage with fellow YA novelists Francisco Stork, Beth Kephart, and Carolyn Mackler.  Our discussion revolved around these questions (from David) and a few more besides:

What perspective do we, as adults, bring to our novels when we write about teenagers? How do we balance what we know and what our characters don’t? Why do we find ourselves revisiting these years, and what do we learn (even years later) by writing about them? How do you acknowledge the darkness without robbing the reader of finding any light? In this candid conversation, we’ll talk to four acclaimed authors about being an adult and writing about teenagers.

The conversation was so thoughtful and I learned a lot from and about my co-panelists.  One thing that seemed clear about all of us is that we draw on experience but use our imaginations, and that we write from our hearts.  I know that my heart was very full the whole time--I felt very supported by David ( fabulous writer as well as editorial director at Scholastic) and Aimee Friedman--my extraordinarily brilliant and nurturing editor who also writes gorgeous novels--sitting up close in the audience. They have shepherded me into the world of YA after my whole life spent writing general fiction, adult novels.  (I never called them adult novels before, and it sounds vaguely racy, but it's necessary to differentiate my other novels from this young adult one, THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS.)

Also in the audience was my forever literary agent Andrea Cirillo and many of her colleagues, all of whom I adore, from the Jane Rotrosen Agency.  Later Andrea, Chris, Rebecca, Danielle, Amy, Julianne, Jessica and I went around the corner to the Bryant Park Grill to have a drink and debrief.  We sat outside under heaters (it was very early March chilly) surrounded by trees wrapped in twinkling lights.  Andrea and I have been in Bryant Park so often--with my former and beloved editors from Bantam, for literary festivals like New York is Book Country, and last spring we made a fast trip to see the Chuck-Will's-Widow, a first for that park.  

It was a great day.  I may be a week late in blogging about it, but I'm still thinking about last Friday, turning it over in my mind, all the marvelous moments.  

With Aimee Friedman in front of Fortitude at the NYPL.

With Aimee Friedman in front of Fortitude at the NYPL.

My wonderful agent Andrea Cirillo and from right, Rebecca Scherer, Julianne Tinari, Chris Prestia, me, Amy Tannenbaum, Danielle Sickles, and Jessica Errera--lovely geniuses and part of my amazing team at JRA.

My wonderful agent Andrea Cirillo and from right, Rebecca Scherer, Julianne Tinari, Chris Prestia, me, Amy Tannenbaum, Danielle Sickles, and Jessica Errera--lovely geniuses and part of my amazing team at JRA.

Top Holiday Reads Shortlist for 2016

I was so thrilled to learn that THE LEMON ORCHARD has been included in the Top Holiday Reads Shortlist for 2016!  When informing me, Sophie Hart of Co-operative Travel (part of the Thomas Cook Group) said, "We felt that this romantic and captivating story would be the perfect thing to lose yourself in whilst relaxing on vacation, and it more than deserves a spot on the list."  What an honor!

"Whilst!"  "Shortlist!"  To some of my American readers "Holiday Reads" will mean Christmas, or should I say Yuletide.  But they also know that in Britain "holiday" refers to vacation, summer or otherwise, and that means they should pack THE LEMON ORCHARD in their beach bags when off to Martha's Vineyard, St. Tropez, Old Lyme, Watch Hill, Marbella, Biarritz, Ile de Ré, Mackinac Island, Chincoteague, Malibu--where the novel is set--or their own back yard.  Think porch swing!  Fireflies!  A lantern to read by...

The article begins, "Are you heading off on your dream holiday this year? There’s nothing like having a great book with you on your travels to flop down in the shade and relax with. So, to help you find your perfect literary holiday companion, we’ve put together our 2016 shortlist of the very best holiday reads ranging from fiery romances to tense thrillers. What’s more, we’ve also asked our featured authors to tell us in 140 characters or less what their perfect holiday would look like!"

I had fun deciding what my perfect holiday would be.  There are so many possibilities!  Having a picnic with my family at Hubbard's Point, strolling along the Seine and trying to decide where to have my next café experience, walking the beach anywhere with my feet in the salt water, spending my birthday in Venice under the arbor at Locanda Montin, taking a ferry through Norwegian fjords into the Arctic to see the Northern Lights.  

But I chose something different.  To see what I said in a tweet-length 140 characters, you'll have to read the marvelous article and check out all the other wonderful books included on the list.  Before you do, maybe you'd like to guess my dream holiday.  Even better, please comment below, or tweet and tag me at @LuanneRice, and tell me your own perfect holiday--in 140 characters.  I'd love to know.

And whatever you do this summer, have the best holiday ever, and don't forget to take along a book!

 

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Hello, new website!

Just in time for the publication of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS (Tuesday!  February 23!) I have a brand new website.  I thank Adrian Kinloch, my long-time web person, for creating this one, and the last one, and the one before that.  He really caught the vibe of the book, and I'm excited to unveil and share the site with you.

There are so many parts of the novel that I want to tell you about.  First of all, the sisters, Tilly and Roo.  They are beach girls--they grew up at a magical beach on Long Island Sound (Hubbard's Point, familiar to those who've read me before)--and they're closer than close.  Although they have great friends, they know that sisters are the best friends ever.  (This comes from my mother saying to my two sisters and me, "You'll have many friends, but you'll only have two sisters.")  There's a boy--of course there's a boy, it's the beach--and he's Newton, your basic adorable geek that Roo has loved forever.

The sisters' closeness is challenged when the worst thing possible happens--Roo has a car accident that Tilly is partly responsible for, and everything changes.  Roo's drastic condition, locked-in syndrome, causes her to be a total prisoner of her own body, even while her mind is as alert and agile as ever, and no one knows she's in there.  Tilly's guilt tears her up, makes concentration and school impossible, and drives her to get so close to Newton that...well, talk about guilt multiplied.  But there's redemption.  Tilly is still the only one Roo can trust to figure it out, know she's not in a coma, not in a vegetative state, but in something else.  

There's more.  There are beach walks, and starry nights, and first kisses, and owls.  Yes, there are owls.  And a wise old woman who lives in a blue house with a pink door and who knows what it means to be a true sister forever, through the best and the worst.  She may or may not have special, witchy powers.  

I loved writing this novel.  Can you love your characters too much?  If so, that might have been the case here.  I cried when I wrote about Tilly and Roo because I know what they feel for each other.  They love each other, but they don't do it perfectly.  That's the big secret of relationships--no one does it perfectly.  You keep your eyes open and let it all in--love, fear, pain--and you don't push it away.  You feel it as deeply as you can, and it guides you.  You try to be there for the other person.  On bad days, you fail miserably.  But on good days--on most days?--you hold her hand, cheer her on, help her take baby steps then big steps then run the marathon, you give her hope and a reason to live.  And in doing so you give yourself hope.  You already have a reason to live, but congratulations: you've just discovered the secret of life.

Love.  It's not just a feeling.  It's an action.

 

 

Winter Institute

Winter Institute is amazing and what a joy it was to spend time with independent booksellers.  I was invited by my wonderful publisher, Scholastic (book fairs!  book clubs! Harry Potter! The Hunger Games!)  to join the party in Denver CO and talk about my first YA novel, The Secret Language of Sisters. My fellow authors were Sharon Robinson (great writer, daughter of Jackie, my mother's idol) and Derek Anderson (amazing artist and writer of picture books) and we celebrated the fact that writing for children (in my case teenagers) is a very special calling.  Their warmth and welcome into this new world for me made me feel so lucky.  On top of that, we were taken care of, introduced, and nurtured by Scholastic's inimitable Bess Braswell and Jennifer Abbots.

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The Secret Language of Sisters

When Ruth Anne (Roo) McCabe responds to a text message while she’s driving, her life as she knows it ends. The car flips, and Roo winds up in a hospital bed, paralyzed. Silent. Everyone thinks she’s in a coma, but Roo has “locked-in syndrome”—she can see and hear and understand everything around her, but no one knows it. She’s trapped inside her own body, screaming to be heard.

Mathilda (Tilly) is Roo’s sister, and best friend. She was the one who texted Roo, and inadvertently caused the accident. Now, Tilly must grapple with her overwhelming guilt, and her growing feelings for Roo’s boyfriend, Newton...

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Once in a Blue Moon

A blue moon is a celestial rarity and occurs when there are two full moons in one calendar month--such as the one today. It refers not to the color of the moon, but to the wonder.  The title of my fifth novel (first published in 1993) is a play on that, and refers to the rare, once-in-a-lifetime love between Sheila and Eddie, the matriarch and patriarch of the Keating family. The title also refers to a long-disappeared section of sailor's bars and nefarious doings in Newport, Rhode Island.  The name "Sheila" was inspired by Sheila Dingley Mularski, one of my favorite little girls, who has grown up to be a Title One reading teacher, working with 10-12 year olds. Her school has a small library, but no librarian, so Sheila started volunteering her lunch hour to help kids check out books. Could we take a moment of appreciation for Sheila as well as your own favorite teachers and librarians, people who encourage and celebrate reading?

I have very happy memories about the publication of Blue Moon...  The Happy Carrot had just opened in Old Lyme, Connecticut.  It was a wonderful independent bookstore owned by Paulette Zander, and this was the first reading she'd hosted.  She decorated the store windows in such a mystical way, full of blue moon-inspired art, and it was the first of many great book events we would have together.

My launch party was held at the Old Lyme Inn--then owned by my dear friend Diana Atwood Johnson, who ran it like an artists' retreat and literary salon (she's an artist herself, I was honored to introduce her at last summer's exhibition of her bird photographs at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.)  For the Blue Moon party she served blue cocktails and seafood delicacies.  In the novel, Shore Dinners were served at the Keating family restaurant, and Diana outdid herself recreating the lobster-and-clam-bakes cooked by the Keatings.  She decorated the inn so beautifully, and we invited old and new friends.  I remember being totally surprised and delighted to look up and see the Reducers, a band I love, walk into this classic New England inn in all their black leather punk glory.

Blue Moon was later made into a CBS Movie-of-the-Week.  It starred Sharon Lawrence, Jeffrey Nordling, Kim Hunter, Richard Kiley, and Hallie Kate Eisenberg, and was filmed in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, one of the most beautiful seaside towns I've ever seen.  My love for Nova Scotia had already begun, but it certainly deepened during my visit to the set.

Happy memories...I am glad for the chance to share them with you.  The sky does inspire me.  I hope you look up tonight and all nights and enjoy what you see...

No Animal is an Island

I was lucky enough to read Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina in galleys, a few months before publication.  Carl and I had been introduced via email by a mutual friend, Pete DeSimone of Starr Ranch Sanctuary, and we had corresponded about owls and whales.  A snowy owl had been visiting Carl's beach on eastern Long Island, and knowing my interest in owls in general, snowies in particular, he sent me photos and reports about the visitor. His book The View From Lazy Point had long been a favorite of mine.  He makes science personal, writing about the beach he loves, the species he's studied, the world travels he's taken to observe animals in varied habitat.  I like that he doesn't hide his love for the oceans and his commitment to the environment.

His new book Beyond Words, is brilliant, gets truly and deeply into the mind and emotions of animals--the inner lives of elephants, wolves, and killer whales.  He talks about families, love, loyalty, betrayals, intense grief of different animal populations.  He discusses endangered species, in some cases the erosion of protections, the reality of humans hunting for sport and trophies and monetary gain.  The sections on elephants, what happens when humans poach them for ivory, delineate with such compassion the devastation and grief felt by the family members left behind.

His work with killer whales--a name he prefers to orca, deriving as it does from the Latin  Orcinus Orca and referring in an inescapably demonizing way to Orcus, god of the underworld--took him to San Juan Island  and Haro Strait.  He discusses two populations--transients, who hunt mammals, such as sea lions--and residents, who eat fish, mainly salmon.  With Ken Bascomb he listens to the whales via hydrophones, chirps and whistles and clicks.  He differentiates their echo-sounding sonar from communications.  They form strong family units and stay together for decades, for life.  They kill for food, and it's brutal to watch the transients go after seals or California Gray Whales.  But killer whales are social beings, very curious, and love to play; they seek attention from other killer whales and from people they encounter.  Carl quotes an observer who said they "look through their otherness at you."

I took this in July 2014: killer whales off San Juan Island
I took this in July 2014: killer whales off San Juan Island

He writes about the tragedy of killer whales being netted, taken captive for aquarium exhibits--what it's like for a mother whale to see her baby captured, unable to stop what's happening.  And how the baby whale feels, ripped from a mother and the voices of her family, "going from the limitless ocean to the confinement of a concrete teacup, the terror and confusion..."

Overfishing and chemical run-off contribute to a combination salmon shortage and toxic load that is endangering killer whales.  They can live forty to fifty years, but the population isn't reproducing.  Recovery of the salmon fishery doesn't look likely, and the Pacific Northwest's logging industry isn't about to stop using river-killing fertilizer and flame retardants that get into the food chain, into the plankton eaten by the fish eaten by the seals eaten by the whales.

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IMG_3889

After reading Beyond Words I felt so happy to give it a quote.  Carl came into New York to record the book for audio, and we finally met.  He's a kindred spirit.  Now that we're friends, do you think I can ask him to write something on cats?

I want to know what mine think and feel.  I keep them inside partly for their own protection and also to keep them from following their natural instincts to hunt birds and mice, but they are still wild things, with distinct personalities, and eyes full of soul.  When Maggie died a few years ago, I watched Mae-Mae and Maisie grieve.  The two survivors returned again and again to the spot where they'd last seen Maggie, before I buried her.  They meowed, and it sounded like keening.  I would have given anything to be able to read their minds, to understand their feelings.

Carl's book helps me to know that such understanding is possible.  Translation may be harder, but I keep trying.  I share my house with these creatures, and we all share the planet with a whole lot more, and I am grateful for all of them, and for this book.

Species are connected to each other, and we to them.  When we forget that, we forget our humanity.

As I write this, social media is full of new about the death of Cecil, a thirteen-year-old lion in Zimbabwe.  Walter J. Palmer, an American dentist, paid $55,000 to hunt him down.  Cecil was lured out of Hwange National Park, the sanctuary where he lived, and was shot with a bow and arrow.  There's a photo of Palmer grinning over the corpse.  Cecil looks majestic and dignified even in death, but they beheaded him and left his corpse to rot.  The dentist's grin makes me sad--the whole story does.  I wish I could have given him a copy of Carl's book.  Maybe Cecil would still be alive if he'd read it.

Maybe the planet will be healthier if we all do.

No Man is an Island

by John Donne

No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manor of thy friend's Or of thine own were: Any man's death diminishes me, Because I am involved in mankind, And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

How We Started (ebook)

In these never-before-published stories, Luanne Rice gives her readers two tales of early love and longing. "Paul and Clare" introduces the heroine of her upcoming novel, Little Night, and offers a glimpse into how she met the love of her life -- and the beginning of her life-long passion for birds and nature, even in New York City.

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