The following is Editor-in-Chief Lacey Johnson’s mini-feature of the story behind New York Times Best-selling Author Patti Callahan Henry’s latest novel, “The Bookshop at Water’s End.”
Every heart has a point of geography it is stirred to call upon – a place that holds a space of comfort, enchantment or unanswered questions. For some, it is the playground where nets were cast into the hot air, anchoring dreams and fireflies alike. For others, it is a park set in the spring, where they forever remain a young lover – blood pumping unscathed and whisked by fantasies of what is sure to stretch on boundlessly.
For New York Times Best-Selling Author, Patti Callahan Henry, it is a cabin near Cape Cod, Mass., where she spent her childhood summers trampling through the woods and learning to sail. It is where she credits her “great love of story” for having been given breath. Upon revisiting the cabin as an adult, Callahan discovered the landscape to be rich with memories that had never lost their pulse – rushing to greet her as if to say, “We have been waiting for you. Welcome at last.” Through this experience, the inspiration for “The Bookshop at Water’s End” tugged at her, demanding to be filtered through her consciousness and creative interpretation.
Engaging and wistful, this quintessential summer novel is set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, and offers three first-person points of view. An exploration of the nuances of friendship, desire, grief and regret, partnered with secrets locked up tightly and murmuring to be pulled to the fore, it is – ultimately – about the rediscovery and resuscitation of self.
“Originally, I was holding ideas for two entirely different books. But it was as though they came together one night and shared a moment of alchemy under the moon. Through that merging, this book was born. It was both magical and therapeutic for me,” says Henry.
A synergistic dance of poignant and redemptive, it will unearth you and assuage you. You will melt into every scene like an old love letter your heart thought it had forgotten but never did, and savor every page, bite-by-bite, like a beloved recipe from childhood you never want to end.