Guest Writer~Hester Fox
March 4, 2020
Dear Book Lovers! Happy Guest Writer Wednesday! I am so excited to have author Hester Fox on the blog today. Hester is the author of The Witch of Willow Hall and The Widow of Pale Harbor (Graydon House). She is the queen of spooky ghost tales set in New England. Think castles set on a hill surrounded by blankets of fog and ocean mist with a ghost or two lingering in the background. If this sounds like your cup of tea, you will LOVE Hester's books.
Hester is a full time writer with a background in museum work and historical archaeology. I personally find her Pinterest page amazing. It is filled with pictures of clothing, castles, settings, etc. that inspired her books, settings and characters. When Hester isn't writing, she is spending time with her husband and son exploring historic cemeteries and hitting up her local bookstores. Her new book, The Orphan of Cemetery Hill comes out September 2020. It is a Gothic story set in 19th century New England. She told me that there is love story, seances, murder and ghosts, ghosts, ghosts. Sign me up please!
I hope you enjoy Hester's letter to Mr. H. The book she chose couldn't be more perfect!
Happy Reading everyone!
P.S. Hester wrote her new book while pregnant with her son and while he was just a newborn. Talk about a challenge!!! To keep her energy up while writing, she is always on the quest for the perfect seasonal latte!
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
This might sound silly, but do you know what I dread? I dread that perfectly innocent question that everyone seems to love to ask authors: what’s your favorite book?
It pops up on Twitter, at book signings, and in casual conversations. I have to admit, I’m even guilty of asking it of others as well. It’s really an impossible question to answer. Even whittling down to a top three is a Herculean task. I have a favorite comfort read when I want something familiar and cozy, a world I can easily slip back into (Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn). I have a favorite book from my childhood (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott). I even have a favorite ghost story (The Haunting Of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James).
But there is one book that I can come back to time after time and always find something new. If I could only take one book with me to a desert island, it would probably be this one: Lincoln In The Bardo by George Saunders.
I love historical fiction, and the premise drew me in immediately. In the early days of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s beloved son Willie dies. Devastated, Lincoln retreats to the mausoleum where Willie is interred to grieve. The entire book takes place over the course of a single night. And get this, other than Lincoln, almost the entire cast of characters is comprised of ghosts. Be still my Gothic heart.
The spirits in the cemetery observe Lincoln in his grief, and through their narration, we learn of their lives and deaths in a divided America. But more than that, we are faced with brilliant and uncomfortable truths about life, death, and the love that transcends both.
After reading the physical book, I listened to the audiobook which was an equally amazing experience. With 166 narrators lending their voices, it was like listening to a movie.
There are parts that made me laugh out loud, and passages that are so heart-achingly sad and beautiful that I had to reach for the tissue-box. The prose is deceptively simple and elegant (like yours), and at times it feels like walking through a dream. I think you would love it, Mr. H.
p.s.—if you enjoy Gothic fiction (set in a cemetery, no less!), you might want to check out my upcoming book The Orphan of Cemetery Hill