The hardest part about writing my novel was reliving my father’s death. I remember sitting at my kitchen table, it was winter, the snow was falling, and I thought about the actual day I first met with the funeral director. My father had died only months before I began writing my novel.
I used that as a starting point to create Nicole’s feeling after her father died. She felt like the only person in her life that had supported and understood her was her father. She felt guilty for not being more attentive to her father after she moved to New York and got involved with going to college and then off to working on Wall Street. Even then, her father supported her when she wanted to quit a promising business career, to go back to graduate school and teach. Her friends thought she should keep her job on Wall Street with financial potential, her sister always thought she should settle down because that is what she did, and Nicole’s boyfriend at the time thought she should try law school.
For Nicole, her father was the only person she really let in. It had been hard for her to emotionally connect with her sister, since they chose such different lives, and her friends did not always understand the choices she had made.
Nicole experienced a significant loss when her father died, being this rock in her life. The theme of loss runs through the novel as Tom struggles with the death of his daughter to leukemia. When we meet him, it has been six years since she had died. He still can’t bring himself to talk about her. He has a wall so deep that he can’t speak to his wife, Rose, about her death. Rose can’t bring herself to talk about their daughter and withdrawals from the marriage. As a psychologist, I see this is very common in couples. I wanted to write about tragedy that parents can face about losing a child and how this can impact the stability of a once happy marriage.
Tom is forced to finally deal with his loss and confront what he and Rose had been missing in their marriage since her death. This becomes a turning point, as it would be for any couple.