Faith Sullivan is the author of many novels, including Gardenias, The Cape Ann, What a Woman Must Do, and, most recently, Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse. A “demon gardener, flea marketer, and feeder of birds,” she is also an indefatigable champion of literary culture and her fellow writers, and has visited with hundreds of book clubs. Born and raised in southern Minnesota, she spent twenty-some years in New York and Los Angeles, but now lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Dan.
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Books by Faith Sullivan
A month after the United States joins World War II, nine-year-old Lark, her mother, Arlene, and her Aunt Betty migrate to San Diego from Minnesota, leaving Lark’s gambling father behind. Moving into a housing project with uprooted families from all over the country, Lark is an attentive observer of the neighborhood as she adjusts to her new life.
Widowed, penniless, responsible for her beloved baby boy, and subject to the small-town gossip of Harvester, Minnesota—Nell Stillman’s lot is not an easy one. Yet she finds strength in lasting friendships and in the rich inner life awakened by the novels she loves.
When Celia Canby and her husband are killed in a car accident, her aunt Kate and cousin Harriet are left to raise Celia’s daughter. Ten years later, it’s the 1950s, and the three generations of women are being drawn apart by life, loss, and new love.
One winter’s night, Ruby Drake’s beloved parents perish in an accident—and suddenly, Ruby finds herself penniless and nearly alone in the world.
Author Q & A
At one point in Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse, Nell thinks, “The years could rob [people] of friends and farms, of youth and health but books would endure.” What role do you see literature playing in your characters’ lives?Deborah KalbAnswer
I make a conscious effort in most of my books to convey the notion that literature, more than religion, is the path to understanding ourselves and the world, if indeed either can be understood.
I truly believe that the more people read worthwhile books, the more empathic they become and consequently the more they value human life. [Read more at Deborah Kalb Books]
Many of your novels are linked through their characters and setting. Did you plan Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse as you were writing the earlier novels, or did the specific idea for this book come to you later?Deborah KalbAnswer
The idea of linking Wodehouse, an idol of mine, and Nell Stillman came to me later though it was always my intention to write about Nell. When writing The Cape Ann, I created histories for many of the characters, including Nell. I like to do this with major characters, and even then I considered her a major character though her role was not huge. When Nell’s time came, I said to myself, “Here’s a woman with a pocketful of troubles. In telling her story, why not give her a source of escape and relief?” Wodehouse has long been the author to whom I personally escape so I loaned him to her. [Read more at Deborah Kalb Books]