Yesterday, publication was completed. That’s that. If you are not a Kindle user, Conventions: The Garden At Paris is now available in paperback, too:
Whether for the Kindle, or the paperback, one suspects it would be absolutely escapist perfect for the beach or poolside this coming (Northern Hemisphere) summer:
Not that I’m making any suggestions there, of course.😀
The story is built mostly around one young upstate New York man’s 1787 view of the world. There are no planes, no trains, no cars, and no internet. “News” travels slowly, often by word of mouth, or at the speed of a letter-carrying horse rider or sailing ship. It can take six months or more for a letter sent from London or Paris to reach America, be answered, and for the sender to receive its response in Europe. If the letters ever get to either place and aren’t lost in transit, that is. Truth is in many ways even harder to come by than today.
And there are now Americans starting to appear across the Atlantic post-US-independence. Most are relatively privileged men, and often, like that one young man, too young to have fought for American independence themselves. What they know of England and France comes mostly from books, and they are traveling to Europe to improve themselves or for business reasons. Once there, over time they learn their distant America is often as intriguing to Europeans as Europe had been to them. Isolated, occasionally lonely, sometimes they also find themselves involved with European daughters of even greater privilege – and, wow, can that sometimes lead to the unexpected.
We witness as well debates around the then relatively “new” ideas of freedom and equality that we today take for granted as fact. Women are of course part of it all as are men, yet they are also distinctively second-class citizens whose primary role is to bear children and keep home while simultaneously also being placed on pedestals. We also see questions raised as to what it means to love a country – including one that at any given moment could slice off your head.
And there’s lots more…
Who needs yet another John Grisham book? Honestly?😂
Kidding aside, we have left my father in Pennsylvania and headed to the Catskills, to our house. We were last here at Christmas. The house is still standing:
Gorgeous day.🏝🌞😎Through a window view of Windham Mountain. The last of the snow is … melting….📸⛰Always great to come "home" here again.😊 . #travel #scenic #writer #writersofinstagram #upstateny #Windhamny #Catskillsny #catskillsmountains #catskills #upstateny #photo #photos #photography #rural #spring #countryside #mountains #expats
But we knew it would be. (A local friend keeps an eye on it for us.) Being back here, and seeing Conventions is now published, I realized this morning as I wrote this post that Conventions is not only about Europe of that era. It is also, in a way, a love letter to these mountains.
About that latter, I will say no more here. You’ll just have to read the novel! Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. 🙂