Praise for The Writing Master
"I tore through The Writing Master in one night. It's a murder mystery, a father-daughter story, and a detailed slice of 19th-century New England history. Lovely!"
~ Susan Cheever, author of Louisa May Alcott and American Bloomsbury
"Gradually, it grows clear that The Writing Master isn't just a mystery or a romance, it's a study of family unhappiness, mental illness and, above all, the condition of women in mid-19th-century America. For all the lightness of tone, it is filled with considerable darkness, and there is no assurance that all will end happily. But the book is chockablock with fascinating characters, especially the women....There are, naturally, surprises in store...as the narrative loops and plot swirls of The Writing Master are finally knotted together."
~ Michael Dirda in the Washington Post
“I don’t have enough superlatives to describe my delight with The Writing Master. I loved every moment I spent in the 19th-century world of Florey’s endearing and complicated characters. I loved their heartbreaking plights, their sparkling dialogue, their fully realized setting, their unexpected destinations. I will read it again while I wait for a sequel.”
~ Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys
The Writing Master, set in the hot summer of 1856, is the story of Charles Cooper, a Connecticut penman and teacher of writing at a time when a fast, legible script was indispensible for a gentleman, and the gloriously embellished script of a master of the art was held in deep respect. Charles’s anguished memories of the tragic accident that killed his wife and baby son are complicated by his encounter with Lily Prescott, an unconventional woman with a shady past and an uncertain future. When a brutal murder takes place just outside the city of New Haven, Charles becomes involved in its solution, and the consequences of his choices are both unexpected and far-reaching.
Strongly influenced by the author’s love of nineteenth-century fiction and her immersion in New England history -- and inspired by her 2009 nonfiction book, Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting -- The Writing Master meticulously evokes another age – one of sooty railroad journeys, extravagantly inconvenient clothing, strict social codes, and severe penalties for their transgression – as well as the timeless passions and aspirations of a cast of memorable characters.
SCROLL DOWN FOR AUTHOR APPEARANCES AND EVENTS
The sequel to
THE WRITING MASTER
Amity Street continues the story that began in New Haven in 1856.
It is now the year 1892. A wealthy former opera star, Anna Felice, travels from Rome, Italy, to America —
to Manhattan, to New Haven, finally
to Amherst, Massachusetts — in search of
the truth about her birth.
In Amherst, she encounters Hazel Cooper, the writing master's daughter, who fears she is condemned to a life of spinsterhood, and Hazel's cousin, the eccentric, enigmatic, oddly lovable Davey Chillick—both of whom find their lives changing in unexpected ways.
And much to Anna's surprise, as she learns
the startling facts about her background,
she begins to fall in love with a little country town
and the people in it.
paperback and e-book
Available now from Amherst Books on Main Street and Hastings & Co. on S. Pleasant Street., and
at Odyssey Books in South Hadley.
Online booksellers too, of course.
MARCH 4, 2017
Barnes & Noble
at the Hampshire Mall in Hadley
I'll be one of 20 writers -- in all genres --
at a Local Authors event, signing copies of
Amity Street and The Writing Master,
giving a short reading, talking to customers,
and answering questions.
Please join us! It's a great opportunity
to learn about and support local writers!
MARCH 10, 2017
Amherst Historical Society
67 Amity Street (next to the library)
"Amherst in 1892: Fact and Fiction"
The Amherst Historical Society has invited me
to return for a second visit,
this time as the speaker at "History Bites,"
a regular Friday half-hour lunchtime talk
that features some aspect of the history of
Amherst and the Pioneer Valley.
(I love talking about Amity Street at
this wonderful venue on . . . Amity Street!)
I'll be talking about my research into 1892 Amherst and answering questions about then and now.
I hope to see you there!