My younger brother and his wife recently purchased my grandmother’s home. Grandma Antoinette lives in a retirement home in Seattle now, and when my uncles and aunts decided that it was time to sell the old family home (which has an enormous beach, beautiful grounds and tennis court), we all hoped it would stay in the family. This home and beach, in Poulsbo, Washington, right across from Bainbridge Island, where The Violets of March is set, is a very special place to me. My dad was raised here along with his five siblings, and I spent so much time on the beach here as a child, I can say that it’s one of my favorite places in the world. It’s also the beach that I envisioned for The Violets of March.
While the colonial that Bee lived in is a bit different than the mid-century home my grandparents built in the 1950s, the feel of the property and my memories of this special property translated onto the pages of The Violets of March. And now, as I bring my children to visit their uncle and aunt, they get to enjoy a piece of their family’s history—and get a glimpse into their mama’s wacky imagination.