Mary Simonsen has combined her love of history and the novels of Jane Austen in her first novel, which explores universal truths about love and conflict that cross generations and oceans. The author lives in Peoria and Flagstaff, Arizona.
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What books are you currently reading?
The Wordy Shipmates - Sarah Vowell The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society Book Club - Mary Ann Shaffer Tomaree - Debbie Robson The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennet Ragtime in Shimla - Barbara Cleverly Land and Revolution: Nationalist Politics in the West of Ireland 1891-1921 - Fergus Campbell
What are your favorite books?
Pride and Prejudice Walking Across Egypt Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire Wings of Morning by Thomas Childers To Kill a Mockingbird The Making of the Casablanca Random Harvest The Glory and the Dream Red Sky at Morning Kingdom of Coal Edge of the Crazies
What books would you recommend to your readers?
Walking Across Egypt When Pigs Fly by Bob Sanchez The Joe Sandiland Mysteries by Barbara Cleverly Ian Rutledge Mysteries by Charles Todd Anything by Jane Austen Jane Eyre List of Seven Seabiscuit Round Up the Usual Suspects The Once and Future King Edge of the Crazies Gorky Park Truman, Eisenhower, Band of Brothers Random Harvest A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Any message to your readers?
I hope when you finish Searching for Pemberley, you will know a little more about Jane Austen and her world and how Pride & Prejudice provided an escape for generations of readers.
What is your book about? Please provide a description.
Searching for Pemberley is the story of 22-year old Maggie Joyce, who leaves behind the bleak landscape of her coal-mining hometown, to go to work in post World War II London. A devotee of Jane Austen, she learns that there are some who believe that the characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy may be based on the real life Elizabeth Garrison and William Lacey of Montclair Manor in Derbyshire. While exploring the truth behind these rumors, she meets Jack and Beth Crowell, who live in the nearby village of Crofton, and who know if the stories are true. A friendship develops, and Maggie is drawn into their love story, which took place against the background of World War I. As her search continues, she meets both a dashing American pilot and a handsome descendant of the Darcy/Lacey line, and Maggie must decide how her own love story will end.
How long have you been at work on this book?
How did the idea originate?
I love Jane Austen and Pride & Prejudice, but I am also an avid reader of history. I especially enjoy reading about the Regency Era and World Wars I and II. So when an idea came to me that combined all three interests, I started to work on a novel.
Did the book entail any unusual writing habits or places?