Writing is reading is writing. Since my early days, I have been a voracious reader and it is this love of story that led me to become a novelist. As writers, reading introduces us to new styles and perspectives, help polish our voices, and is the absolute best way to learn the writing craft. Below are some of the books that have helped guide me on my writing journey.
My third novel is still in the drafting stage and while I’m very excited about it, I don’t want to give too much away just yet! Here’s a look at some of what I’ve been reading lately, for a sneak peek: Severance by Ling Ma, Young Money by Kevin Roose, Vida by Patricia Engel, Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe, Undocumented by Dan-el Padilla Peralta, and Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina García.
She Writes Press, August 2019
My most recent novel, The Nine, was inspired by the story of Hannah and Samuel. It is both a coming-of-age story and a portrait of an evolving mother-son relationship. The Nine takes place at Dunning Academy, a prestigious New England boarding school, and throughout the writing process I read countless campus novels that helped further my sense of place and campus culture. A few favorites include This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Testimony by Anita Shreve, The Secret History by Donna Tart, The Lords of Discipline by Patrick Conroy, and Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. For even more campus novel recommendations, check out my blog on my session at the Boston Book Festival—and be sure to share your own recs in the comments!
She Writes Press, May 2017
My debut novel, Eden, is the story of four generations of women navigating the massive changes of the 20th century in America. I was inspired by many family sagas, including The Big House by George Howe Colt, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, and We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates. As a historical fiction novel, Eden also required some more specific research. I found details of the 1938 hurricane through Sudden Sea by R. A. Scotti and inspiration for the story of the family’s long lost daughter in The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler.