THE GIRL FROM THE RIVER - AUTHOR'S INSIGHTS
AT A GLANCE…
Just released in the summer, 2018!
Twenty years after Angela Star went over a bridge in her father’s car into the raging Chalice River and her body never recovered (a story within the novel Applause), she appears to the daughter, Catherine, of the woman, Sela Hart, who wrote the original story – this time out of the San Gabriel River in Southern California. The girl looks nineteen, the age she was at the time of the accident, but soon reveals hints about her four-hundred-and-seventy-two-year-old life and that Sela had not known everything. How could this be? When I wrote the story about the girl who was real and not-so-real, she only lived a little over one hundred years. How could I not know about those other centuries? But she came to me in the plantain fields in Portuguese East Africa in the 1500s and haunted me until I could believe in her and in the quantum theories that might explain her existence, until I could write it down in such a way that you would believe in her too.
Sela Hart’s and William Langley’s daughter, Catherine, is twenty years old at the start of this novel. She had been plagued by nightmares growing up after her mother read her the “William and Angela” stories, thinking she’d enjoy the ones about horses and the zoo animals and making movies on location. But what terrified Catherine was the scene where Angela goes off the bridge over the Chalice River and is lost in the raging water. Though now a grown young woman, a student at U.C.L.A. with a job there doing landscaping and taking advanced classes, she has begun to suffer the nightmares again and tries to question her mother about the old stories – why she wrote them, what river did Angela crash into, and where was that river.
Sela dismisses her lightly saying, “It’s fiction! The river could be anyplace.” But Catherine cannot let the stories go and fantasizes about finding the river that had filled her nightmares. She chooses the San Gabriel River in Southern California and stops by it on a stormy spring night, startled by the sight of police and neighbors searching along the bank for a lost dog. She parks and wanders down to the shore. It isn’t long before a thin girl in a tattered dress comes out of the water with a half-drowned Border collie in her arms. From then on, things get stranger and stranger, but Catherine begins to believe in Angela and listens to her tale of being in the river for four-hundred-and-seventy-two years. In Sela’s story, the girl only lived a little over one-hundred years to be with the man she loved. The women’s friendship leads them on a quantum trail to 16th century Portuguese East Africa and the passions that claim their hearts, all tied to the “Williams” of the past and the present.
One of the protagonists of The Girl from the River, Catherine Langley, hears a song on her car radio that makes her question some things about her own life: Has she ever held anyone close? If that love disappeared, would she wait for him 1,000 years? She doesn't know the answers for herself but thinks it surely fits the girl from the river who is still looking for her William after half a millennium. She imagines that the song was meant for Angela. Listen to the song here…