by Courtney Walsh
Many years ago, I had my first introduction to Nantucket. My kids were little, and I was not a go-with-the-flow kind of mom. I’m still not, if I’m honest, but when you’ve got kids who need naps and you know the value of the schedule, it’s hard to relax.
I don’t think I appreciated the island or its beauty at all. (Side note: I don’t travel well. I’m working on it.)
But then a couple of years ago, a mom with older kids now, we took a vacation to Cape Cod. We stayed in a house my kids swear was haunted, and we ventured out to do all the touristy-type things. One day toward the end of our trip, we decided to take the ferry over to Nantucket.
The island needed to be redeemed, I think, and I am so glad we went.
Looking at Nantucket through more relaxed eyes, I was instantly smitten. The charm of the cobblestone streets, the brick buildings, the cedar-shingled cottages, the lighthouses, the beaches—it was all breathtaking. And every single bit of it lent itself to romance.
"For many books, the setting is another character..."
For many books, the setting is another character, and getting it right can bring the story to life. I knew after this second visit that this was a place I could get lost in. This was a place where I would love to spend more time.
I’m not sure if this is an actual quote, but someone gave me the advice once that if you want to be inspired, change your routine. I couldn’t agree more. Getting outside of my Illinois town and letting my mind wander as I walked those streets and took in every single bit of the island was exactly what I needed to get my imagination going.
"there are stories everywhere. You just have to slow down long enough to find them."
The truth is there are stories everywhere. You just have to slow down long enough to find them. Millions of what-if questions floating through the air, waiting to land on someone willing to play along. Sometimes it starts with a setting: “What if two kids who had the same birthday spent their summers together on Nantucket and what if they made a pact to revisit the island on their shared golden birthday and what if something happened to drive them apart . . . ?”
For me, that’s how this story began.
Filling in the blanks and answering those questions made the process of writing this book so much more enjoyable, and setting it in a place that I absolutely love was like a mental vacation. My hope is that everyone who reads it will get to experience a sliver of Nantucket, whether they’re leaving their home or not.
I, for one, feel like it’s the perfect romantic escape.