In The Lemon Orchard, Julia drives cross-country with Bonnie Blue--the family dog, a thirteen-year old Blue Merle Collie that had belonged to her daughter Jenny. They left Old Lyme CT and drove all the way to Malibu CA--from the Atlantic to the Pacific--to housesit Julia's uncle's villa in a lemon orchard in the Santa Monica Mountains. I loved imagining that road trip because I know what good companionship and comfort animal friends can be. Bonnie, the collie in the novel, was inspired by a real-life Blue Merle collie that I knew when I was young. She lived with the family across the street; I babysat for the children and hung out at their house almost every day. Bonnie was a sweet, beautiful dog. Her coat was lovely--long and flowing, marked with shades of gray and blue. She ran through the fields with us, tromped through deep snow when we'd hike to to skating pond and sledding hill, slept at my feet after the kids went to sleep, rested her chin on her paws and gazed up with such soulful eyes, I could almost read the love she had for that family. So, two Bonnies--one that lives in my heart and memory, another that lives on the pages of The Lemon Orchard--soothing Julia, connecting her with her daughter Jenny. Or maybe they are one and the same... Please comment below to be entered in our weekly drawing. Good luck!
[April 30: Congratulations to Alicia Mylott for winning this week's drawing!]