Have you ever been so inspired by an author’s work that you wish you could tell them exactly how much they have impacted your life? In this series, Literary Love Letters, we do just that – share open love letters to inspiring authors. Today, The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach author Pam Jenoff writes to Tracy Chevalier.
Long before I realized I would write historical fiction, I was drawn to your books. I was introduced, like so many, by Girl With a Pearl Earring but only in exploring your other books did I appreciate the scope and depth of your body of work.
One of the most impressive aspects of your work is its versatility. You shift between time periods with such ease, whether it is Edwardian England or Quakers in 19th century America.
I so admire how you tell stories from the perspectives of those whom history has often ignored. Perhaps my favorite of your books is Falling Angels, which features a young gravedigger in London during the early 20th century. But you grounded his story in the milieu of the suffragist movement.
You honor the promise to create a world that is authentic and at the same time accessible. Never do you engage in the extraneous historical detail for detail’s sake, which is a temptation facing all who write historical fiction.
Finally, you have taught me that historical fiction is a story just like any other, set in another time and place. Your characters are unforgettable and, while no one would call your books love stories, the relationships and emotional connections in them ring deep and true.
For all that you have taught me as a writer and reader, I thank you. Eagerly waiting for the next, I am…