Come summer 2020 my second novel, Map of Us, will hit shelves! I can’t wait to introduce you all to these characters and share this love story. If you enjoyed Waiting at Hayden’s or are a fan of Nancy Meyers’ movies (think Something’s Gotta Give and It’s Complicated), I have a feeling you’re going to like this one!
For those who haven’t seen the trailer, it’s about two different couples that set out on separate cross-country road trips—one to see if they can rekindle the spark in their marriage, and the other to see if they have what it takes to get married. (Full back cover copy below!)
With this book, I really wanted to explore the question: what does it take for a relationship today to go the distance? Given that the divorce rate is what it is, I think this is something a lot of people–especially in my generation–are asking. And I loved the idea of looking at this question from two different points of view:
You’ve got the older couple in the story, Dean and Patti, who have been married for thirty years and are thinking of calling it quits and then the younger couple, Rachel and Nick, who are considering tying the knot, but are afraid of commitment. They end up crossing paths and learning a lot from each other. I learned a lot from them as well.
Unlike Waiting at Hayden’s, which I plotted out as I wrote, Map of Us, came to me piece by piece. I woke up one morning with character names in my head and journeys they wanted to go on and I saw where the story took me.
This was after I’d returned from a three-month trip through Europe with a boyfriend. The ways travel affects a relationship had sparked my curiosity. We learned so much about each other (and about life) while on the road and I wanted to weave in some of those insights into a book.
There’s that saying, “if a couple can survive traveling together they can survive anything.” Ironically, for the two of us, that wasn’t the case. We had a much better relationship on the road than back home (in part, I imagine, because we are both free spirits). Regardless, it was a journey that changed us both and led to this story.
There’s another theme throughout the book and that is the journey’s we don’t take with the people we love. The road trip assignments are prescribed to Dean and Patti and Rachel and Nick by their respective therapists. The therapists were supposed to take trip a together ten years prior, but called it off and haven’t spoken since. With the anniversary of the trip looming, they both randomly recommend their clients go on adventures.
Their story was my favorite to write. It’s woven in throughout the book and explores regret, lost love, and why we’re so afraid to tell people how we really feel.
If you’re in Newport Beach, I’ll be reading a sneak peek from the story this coming Thursday at Eberjey in Lido Villiage at 6:30pm. I would love to see you there!
I’ve also included the full back cover copy below and will be sharing more soon!
After thirty years of marriage, Dean and Patti Reynolds are ready to call it quits. However, their therapist wants them to give their relationship one more shot. She suggests a road trip across the U.S. to help them remember why they fell in love in the first place, an idea that comes to her as she reflects on a journey she wishes she had taken ten years ago with a man who stole her heart. A thousand miles away, Rachel Hamilton and Nick Freeland, an engaged couple with commitment issues, are prescribed a similar assignment by their therapist who also can’t shake the memory of one weekend he spent falling in love and planning a trip that was never taken.
As Rachel and Nick search for clarity on the road about whether or not their relationship can last forever, they cross paths with Dean and Patti and mistake them for a happily married couple—the first they’ve ever known. Dean and Patti play along at first, trying to be the role models these kids seem to need, but how long can they keep this charade up? Long enough for them to fall back in love for real? Or will they realize they are trying to be two people they aren’t anymore and take down Rachel and Nick’s relationship along with their own?