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The combination of two events served as my inspiration for writing A Weekend with Frances. Many years ago, I attended a three-day reunion with loved ones. Over the course of the weekend, all the buried pain I’d been carrying was brought to the surface. I walked away from the reunion an emotional mess, and it took me days to get back on an even keel.

As a way of processing the upsetting experience, I did some writing, not only from my own perspective, but also from the imagined vantage points of others attending the reunion. This exercise helped me understand that everyone who comes to such a gathering brings their own hopes, fears, and insecurities.

A year and a half ago, my friend Judy told me a story about a reunion she’d recently attended, where a group of old friends who hadn’t seen each other in decades came together for a weekend. As I listened to her recount the fascinating backstories each of her friends had brought to the meeting, I thought back on the writing I’d done after my own reunion. “Judy,” I said, “I think you just gave me the idea for my next novel.”

And so, A Weekend with Frances was born, the story of three sisters who gather at the home of their widowed mother. I should make it clear that none of the characters in my story have anything to do with the people who attended the reunions mentioned above.

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