Shadows on a Maine Christmas
Shadows on a Maine Christmas combines two of my very favorite things in the world: Maine, and Christmas. I loved describing a small town during a snowy Maine Christmas (although, to be honest, even in Maine not every December 25 is a white one. But when writing … it’s fun to describe places the way they should be.) And Christmas has always been my favorite time of year; I collected hundreds of Santas which I always put out on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and when my daughters were young I wrapped up everything from underwear and socks to special Christmas gifts .. including books I wrote for each of them every year. And Christmas morning, like Will and Maggie, we always had champagne and filet mignon with mushrooms. Yum!
Many of my readers have been waiting patiently for Will and Maggie to come to a decision on their futures …. together or apart … and in Shadows on a Maine Christmas that question is answered.
But, of course, there has to be a mystery.
One many people cope with today, either as victims or caregivers, is Alzheimer’s. How does the brain delete events that just happened, while retaining clear memories of things that happened in the distant past? A friend of mine whose mother had Alzheimer’s forgot the English words she had used fluently for thirty years, and could only speak or understand the Taglog she’d used as a child in the Philippines, so could no longer understand her husband or children. I thought of her as I was writing.
What if someone could only remember the past … and that past contained secrets. Not just his or her own secrets, but the secrets of her family and friends? And what if ….
And that, after deciding the time and place, was the idea that became the plot of Shadows on a Maine Christmas.
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Questions and Topics for Discussion:
Do you know, or have you known, someone with Alzheimer’s? How accurately do you think it was depicted in Shadows on a Maine Christmas?
Many of the characters in this book have secrets … which secret do you think was the most difficult to live with? In the past? Now?
Carrie Folk took such close care of her intellectually disabled son, Billy, that he was unable to do even simple chores. How did you feel about that? Do you think putting him in school would have made a difference in his life? What do you think his future will be like now?
Is Maggie right to insist on wanting to adopt?
What about Will? Do you think the compromise he suggests at the end of the book will work – for him? For Maggie?
Would you ever want to live in a house like the one Will buys? Have you ever fixed up an old house?
What do you think will happen in the future? Do you think Will and Maggie will be able to craft a life together?
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