It was a typical Tuesday morning. I was at the gym. My youngest child was steps away from me, in the childcare area around the corner from the cardio room. My older kids were at school. As I marched on the StairMaster, I thought about how most of the people at the gym at this time of day were – like me – mothers of young kids.
It was, I realized, a rather rapid shift in my identity.
Not long before, I had been a single woman with a successful freelance writing career. I lived with my cat and dog in a historic bungalow in a trendy area of Denver. I had plenty of free time to indulge in my passion for writing fiction. I published short stories and worked on a novel.
There at the gym – for just a split second – I wasn’t sure who I really was. How had I gone from being a woman who lived like that – creatively and freely – to being someone I barely recognized? I was now a married mother of three. Instead of that cute bungalow, I lived in a ranch house in a family-friendly neighborhood. I squeezed in paid writing projects whenever I got them. I volunteered, took care of kids, and ran a household. Like most parents of young kids, my husband and I fell into bed exhausted every night.
Writing fiction was a thing of my past. My old novel was tucked away in a drawer (which, in retrospect, was for the best). Creative writing was something I told people I used to do, and hoped to do again…someday. But not now. Along with aimless drives in the mountains and last-minute movie dates with friends, writing fiction had gone out the window.
But maybe all I needed was an inspirational idea.
I considered the question: how can life change so quickly? How can a woman be converted into someone who – some days – she feels she barely knows?
It was, I thought, the seed of a novel.
It was the seed from which The Bookseller was born.
* * *
A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.
Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . .
Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.
Then the dreams begin.
Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.
Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?
As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?