The At Home in Beldon Grove series was inspired by the lives of my female ancestors. I come from a family of writers, beginning with a many-times great grandfather who fought in the American Revolution. He wrote his memoirs when he was in his eighties, and his words were preserved by his granddaughter, who was my great-great grandmother.
Other ancestors wrote memoirs down through the years: A cousin who fought in both the Mexican-American and Civil Wars, then went on to serve in the Missouri Legislature, wrote a memoir in 1876. His reminiscences included his boyhood on the Missouri frontier. Then there was my maternal grandfather, who compiled memories of his parents and his family’s journey over the Oregon Trail when he, too, was in his eighties.
When these documents were handed down to me by my mother, I saw to my dismay that all of the stories were written by men. I wanted to know what the women’s lives were like from their point of view. How would a woman care for her family if she lived on the frontier in the 1830’s? The character of Molly McGarvie in The Edge of Light was inspired by that “what if” question.
Pastor’s wives today have challenges—what would those challenges have been for a pastor’s wife in the early 1800’s? The life of my great-great grandmother, who married a circuit riding preacher in 1832, inspired The Promise of Morning.
Although most of The Edge of Light and The Promise of Morning are fictional with a little truth sprinkled in, all the events related were possible in those times.
My upcoming novel, The Dawn of a Dream, tells Luellen McGarvie’s story. Luellen is Molly’s oldest daughter, now all grown up and facing challenges of her own. The Dawn of a Dream is due to be released by Revell in April of 2011, and will complete the saga of the Craig-McGarvie families.
I love to hear from readers wondering which portions of the novels really happened. I can be reached through my website at www.annshorey.com and will be happy to answer your questions.
~ Ann Shorey