Thursday, October 7, 2010

And the story behind the story is just as fascinating...

I may have asked before, but do you read the Author's Notes? The acknowledgments, dedications, introductions, forewords, afterwords? You should. You learn some fascinating things. Further readings, inspirations, or just seeing who is important to the person who created the work you've just enjoyed. It's a peek inside their lives. Just a peek, and it may not hold any meaning for anyone except those closest to them, but I love it either way.

And when you find out where a story came from, I think it's completely rewarding.

On a recent business trip (so odd to say that), I had the pleasure of reading Kathleen Tessaro's latest, The Debutante.

The Debutante is the story of a young woman trying to leave behind a relationship and move on with her live. She travels to London where her aunt gives her a job helping to catalog the contents of an old estate called Endsleigh House, the owner of which has just passed away, leaving no heirs. Cate is fascinated by the house and the story of the owner, particularly the part that involves Baby Blythe, a debutante (and sister of the recently deceased) who disappeared decades ago. In her search of the house, Cate comes across a shoebox containing a collection of items: a pair of shoes, a framed portrait of a soldier, and an expensive Tiffany bracelet. Cate suspects the items, cleverly hidden behind a collection of children's books, must have belonged to the long missing Baby Blythe, and she becomes obsessed with learning the story.

In reading Tessaro's note after the book, I was fascinated by the inspiration for the story. Two events in UK history that prompted the beginnings of The Debutante. What's more, there's even a story behind the shoebox itself. I won't tell you what it is, but the shoebox served as a catalyst in shaping The Debutante and the events that inspired the story really do prove that truth is stranger than fiction!

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