Music from THE LEMON ORCHARD

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While writing THE LEMON ORCHARD I listened to music that inspired me.  These are songs of love, travel, connection, family, and crossing borders.  Because the music meant so much to me and the characters I was creating, I wove the songs into the novel.  They are songs of America, Mexico, and Ireland, by artists I have loved forever and others that were new to me.

I was introduced to some of the music by the man who inspired the character of Roberto.  He comes from a small town outside Puebla, Mexico, and now he lives in East LA. The story between Roberto and Julia is passionate, and the music is the soundtrack to their love.

Because I wanted you to hear the songs, I put them together in a Spotify playlist.  My own musical taste goes like this: if the song makes me feel something, goes into my heart, I'm there.  I react to music with emotion--it makes me feel, remember, ache.  Because this playlist says a lot about the novel, and because I wanted it to express my family's Irish roots and "Roberto's" Mexican roots, and because I wanted to include songs about immigration--ones I might not have heard before--I asked my friends Mark Lonergan and Becky Murray for suggestions.

Music and friendship are deeply linked.  I've included two songs by my friend Garland Jeffreys.  Becky and Mark both gave me excellent ideas--Mark, also my guitar teacher, introduced me to Tim O'Brien's music a while back--we went to see him perform at NYC's The Cutting Room back when it was in Chelsea and owned by Chris Noth.  I think it's still owned by Chris Noth. Becky and her husband Ed suggested songs by Lady Gaga and Billy Walker.  Those artists are on the playlist along with Bruce Springsteen, Lila Downs, Ry Cooder, Los Tigres Del Norte, Tom Morello, Alison Moorer, Juan Gabriel, The Chieftains, Lola Beltrán, Luis Miguel, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and others.

Thanks to Winnie De Moya of Viking Penguin for posting my Spotify playlist to my Pinterest The Lemon Orchard board.

Dear Readers...

Dear Readers,  

Happy April!  I hope this note finds you well.  My windows are open to the sounds of birds flying north, and I am so ready to kick off my shoes and take a long walk on the beach.  My new novel, The Silver Boat, comes out on April 5, and I'm really excited to be telling you about it.

It's about three sisters who reunite for the first time since their mother’s death.  They gather on Martha’s Vineyard, at their beloved childhood home, each of them facing big decisions.  I write about the sisters' relationships, their complicated love, and a family secret that will send them to Ireland in search of their father.

http://luannerice.net/2011/02/the-silver-boat/

I would love if you visited my website for news, stories, blog posts, or just to say hello.

 

You'll find The Silver Boat at your local bookseller...and it is available for pre-order now:

 

Barnes and Noble:   http://bit.ly/fhsnqr

 

Amazon.com:   http://amzn.to/fvPKRP

 

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/gqYt6j

 

I'm very thankful for all your support, and send wishes for a wonderful spring to you and your family.

 

Love,

Luanne

PS. That's Maisie, my youngest cat, proofreading the letter.

First Copy of The Silver Boat (out April 5)

Today at Shutters I received the first copy of The Silver Boat, and I am thrilled, and it seems so appropriate to have had my first look right here, because this is a place I really enjoy writing.

So many thanks to Pamela Dorman Books/Viking and the wonderful team that created my book.  Many talented people are involved in every aspect of production.

Pam is a genius publisher and editor.  Not only that, she is a close friend.  We started off together long ago; she was my editor for Crazy in Love and several other titles, and we are overjoyed to be working together again.  When I somehow managed to e-mail her my thanks while jumping for joy, she wrote back: "I love it, too, and for us all, it has been a labor of pure pleasure."

Pam and her team have made the hardcover truly beautiful; it feels like a gift, turning the pages, seeing another new and wonderful thing.  The typeset, the frontispiece,the title page, the luminous cover.

How fitting to be seeing this at Shutters.  This is my favorite hotel, and I often come here to write.  The Silver Boat is set on Martha's Vineyard and in Ireland, connected by the Atlantic Ocean.  It is wonderful to be seeing the first copy while gazing out the window at the Pacific.

Sometimes I write in the lobby, other times on the balcony.  When in the sun I wear my lucky cap with this logo:

Right now, because the sun is just starting to go down, I think I'll put on my cap and read The Silver Boat outside, in a cozy wicker chair...

The Silver Boat

A heartwarming yet heart-wrenching portrait of three far-flung sisters who come home to Martha’s Vineyard one last time to say goodbye to the family beach house. Memories of their grandmother, mother, and their Irish father, who sailed away the year Dar, the oldest, turned twelve, rise up and expose the fine cracks in their family myth.

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What Matters Most

Picking up where Sandcastles lets off, this a story about two people who've loved each other forever but live their lives apart.  "Writing the novel, I tried to capture that feeling of complete longing for something you can never have yet, at the same time, carry in your heart at all times." –Luanne

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Secret path

Hidden paths don't reveal themselves often.  They're best when you stumble upon one far from home, away from the familiar.  Taking a walk you might catch sight of of a shadowy opening, calling you to duck through a canopy of interlocked branches, or through an up-island gorse-covered dune Do you accept the invitation, follow the path?  I've done that many times.  They've led to buried treasure.  Not pirate's gold, but beautiful sights I wouldn't otherwise have seen.

On Swan's Island, Maine, through the thickest pine forest, the almost invisible narrow path paved with soft, golden needles, leading to a private crescent beach.

In Normandy, uphill through an apple orchard, to the crest with a view of wildflower fields, once painted by Boudin and Monet, sloping down to the English Channel.  Other byways through gardens, Impressionist landscapes filled with light and flowers.

In Ireland, in Youghal, following a path within sight of the River Blackwater, coming upon a medieval church dating back to St. Declan and the year 450.

Another day in East Cork, the Ballycotton Cliff Walk, a steep climb from the road, leads along the coast, high above the sea, with views of small islands grazed by sheep and goats, sea birds including terns and fulmars riding the air currents, white gannets plunging down into the rough blue sea, and the Old Head of Kinsale shimmering in the distance.  That walk, and a day spent in Kinsale, provided much inspiration for The Silver Boat.

Our own Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island, a mystical experience every time I take it, whether on a brilliant September day, or a snowy December dusk, or the hottest August morning.  Cliff Walk has figured in at least three novels of mine (Angels All Over Town, What Matters Most, The Geometry of Sisters) and probably more...  It hugs the coast for ten miles, past mansions of the gilded age on one side, the wild Atlantic on the other, through tunnels, past Marble House's Chinese Tea House.

Perhaps most dear to me, and not at all far from home: the secret path in all my Hubbard's Point novels, leading to a hidden beach where people fall in love and pick beach plums to make tea and jelly and see shooting stars and take midnight swims under the full moon's silver light.

(Painting by Claude Monet, Garden Path at Giverny.)