The Shadow Wife, which is the reissue of my 2002 novel, Cypress Point, goes on sale today! (The e-book will be available December 1). You can read the prologue on my website. It’s one of my personal favorites.
The Shadow Wife is a story close to my heart in many ways.
First, the setting. Although I now make North Carolina my home, I lived in California for many years and I try to get back there every few years. On one visit, I drove along the stunning Seventeen-Mile Drive in Monterey, getting out of my car near the mystical “ghost trees” that cling to the rocky coastline. From there, I spotted a mansion high on a cliff. In my imagination, I saw two little girls on the mansion’s veranda. It was as if the ghost trees were offering me an image from the past. I thought about those girls and what it would have been like to grow up on a cliff high above the Pacific. From that seedling of an idea, the story for The Shadow Wife developed into something complex and, I hope, intriguing.
Another reason this story is special to me is that I gave the central character, Joelle D’Angelo, my old job as a clinical social worker in a high risk maternity unit. I loved doing that work myself, being able to touch many lives in a positive way. Aside from her occupation, however, Joelle and I are not very much alike and I would hate to be confronted with the personal dilemma The Shadow Wife presents for her. She faces hard choices and makes them with a sort of nobility I hope I would possess if I found myself in her shoes.
Finally, I wanted to explore healing in this story. Having a serious illness has taught me that healing comes in many forms. It’s a loaded subject for me, and I suspect it is for many of you as well.
Many readers have asked me why I changed the title of this book. If it had been up to me, I would never have made the change, but my publisher was firm about wanting a new title more in keeping with the recent “look” of my books– that is people centered instead of place centered. I’m doing my best to make sure readers know that The Shadow Wife and Cypress Point are the same story, and was even able to get Amazon to add that fact right after the title! I hope you’ll help me spread the word. And I hope that, regardless of the title, this story of love and healing is one you’ll enjoy.