The highlights? Oxford, Cambridge, and Eton. I was Carly when she visits Cambridge in the book, filled with an intense hunger to be one of the students. The British Museum comes in a close second. We’d scheduled a day for a quick look and spent three and a half days instead, wishing we could squeeze in more.
I soon realized that despite doing my usual intimate research that involves visiting parks and pubs and using public transportation and perusing the aisles of grocery stores, and walking down the streets in neighborhoods where ordinary people, like me, live simply wasn’t going to work this time. London was too varied and complex and eclectic for me to get a true feel for what it would be like to live there. This was when I decided the story of this city had to be told from a “tourist” viewpoint, and Carly was the logical choice.
Luckily we were on our own and not bound to an itinerary and could zip over to Harrods and then to Leicester Square to the Half Price Ticket Booth to see what play was available that night. We did this several times, never getting adjoining tickets, but seeing some wonderful plays and musicals, including Miss Saigon. One day we spent the entire day riding the Tube, getting off at each station on the line to go up and walk around and then heading back down for the next stop.
We never rented a car. We didn’t have to. Outside of the city he trains took us everywhere we wanted to go and once there, we could get a bus or cab or walk to our final destination.
We also discovered the one sure way to get someone to stop and offer help is to stand on a street corner with an open map and a look of utter confusion on your face--thank you to all of those wonderful Londoners who took time to do this. And speaking of street corners, I’m convinced now that I am missing the “direction” gene. No matter how many times I reminded myself that the cars were on the opposite side of the street in England, I got it wrong when I tried to cross. I think John held my hand more times in the three weeks we were there than any three-week period since.
Sadly, but understandably, only a fraction of what I saw and experienced made it into the book. At the time I put myself to sleep at night weaving paragraphs and scenes and chapters around the sights and sounds and emotions I’d experienced that day, picturing how Carly would see the world her beloved daughter had entered.
I’m one of those writers who becomes compulsively involved with her characters and on the flight home I was gifted with a sense of well-being. Knowing Andrea lived and was loved in a city that had captured my heart made her story infinitely easier to tell.
RETURN TO THE BEACH HOUSE
Over the course of one year, in a charming cottage by the sea, eight people will discover love
and remembrance, reconciliation and reunion, beginnings and endings in this unforgettable
sequel to Georgia Bockoven's The Beach House and Another Summer
Alison arrives at the beach house in June to spend a month with her restless grandson before
he leaves for his first year of college. More than a decade earlier, Alison lost her beloved
husband, and has faced life alone ever since. Now she discovers a new life and a possible
August brings together four college friends facing a milestone. During summer's final days,
they share laughter, tears, and love—revealing long-held secrets and creating new and even
more powerful bonds.
World-class wildlife photographer Matthew and award-winning war photographer Lindsey
arrive at the beach house in January, each harboring the very real fear that it will mark the
end of their decade-long love affair. Alone in the house's warm peace, they are forced to truly look at who they are and what they want, discovering surprising truths that will change
their lives forever.
My characters have always easily and eagerly sprung from my imagination but it doesn’t matter how much research I do on a location, I never feel I’ve gotten it “right” until I’ve seen it for myself. Originally, I hadn’t planned to have as much of Carly’s Gift take place in England as it does so I thought it would be possible to fudge a little on the details and it would quiet that obnoxious voice in my head that insisted I know of which I speak. Or, in this case, write.
As I outlined the story in my head and asked myself simple questions like--what does it feel like to stand in the middle of Westminster Abbey and look up over a hundred feet at the incredibly detailed, lace-like ceiling, or to float down the Thames to Hampton Court-- that voice grew to a crescendo.
So off to England we flew. From San Francisco. Eleven hours in the center of the center seats in the middle of the cheap seats in a completely full plane. When we arrived, Heathrow overwhelmed me; John took it in stride--thank goodness!
AUTHOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER
RADIO INTERVIEW WITH GEORGIA BOCKOVEN ON CAPITAL PUBLIC RADIO
Georgia Bockoven Local author of The Beach House and Another Summer, Georgia Bockoven, joins us. We'll talk to her about her newest book, "The Year Everything Changed"-- a story about four-sisters who learn about family on their father's death bed-- which was released August 23, 2011.
What's in the past is over and done with . . . or is it?
Sixteen years ago Carly Hargrove made a decision that would irrevocably alter her life. With little comprehension of the life-long consequences of her actions, she trades her own future happiness to protect the man she's loved since kindergarten, David Montgomery. Continue Synopsis