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Guest Post by Eileen Goudge

May 6, 2009

Please help me in welcoming bestselling author Eileen Goudge to Stephanie’s Written Word. Goudge’s newest novel, The Diary, is on-sale now. You can read my review of The Diary here.

The seeds for The Diary can be traced back to the day, when I was thirteen, that I discovered a cache of semi-nude photos my father had taken of my mother. At the time, I was pretty shocked, though by today’s standards the images were tame, even what you might call artistic. I didn’t see my parents as sexual beings. Okay, I reasoned, they must have done it at least six times, one for each of their children, plus I’d allow them one extra for their wedding night. Beyond that, my mind refused to go. It wasn’t until I was older that I came to see them as something other than our bread-baking mom and briefcase-toting dad.

Throughout their fifty-plus years of marriage, they never lost that spark, despite the stresses and strains of raising all those kids, various family crises, and, as mom and dad grew older, the fact that my father remained perennially youthful-looking while my once jaw-droppingly beautiful mother began to show her age. They never stopped holding hands. And they were intimate almost to the very end, until my father’s mind and health began to fail. When his Alzheimer’s progressed to the point that she finally did put him in a nursing home, it lasted all of one day before she rushed in to reclaim him. Even though she had difficulty controlling him and hew own health was deteriorating, she wanted him near her. They’d vowed to stay together for better or for worse, and this was the worse. Even her final good-bye was not forever. “I know we’ll see each other again,” she told us at his funeral. When she did ten years later, they were buried side by side.

The Diary is one of those books that more or less wrote itself. It’s inspired by my parents more in spirit than in actual fact. But that spirit was clearly with me as the words poured out in a fevered rush. Normally, it takes me a good nine months to finish a book. This one took all of nine weeks. My one regret is that my parents aren’t around to read it. They’d have smiled knowingly at the love affair between Elizabeth and AJ.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 6, 2009 10:36 am

    What a sweet/ sad story! Bet this book will always be near and dear to her heart because of it.

  2. May 6, 2009 11:51 am

    Oh my, I would have DIED if I had seen somewhat naked pics of my parents. That is just too much info for my brain to process. It is intriguing though to think that your parents have a love life. Most kids probably don’t think about it much. Makes for a good story 🙂

  3. May 6, 2009 3:00 pm

    Ti – I agree. Sure wouldn’t want to find those pictures!!

  4. May 6, 2009 10:43 pm

    What a sweet post.

  5. Rebecca Mainiero permalink
    May 7, 2009 2:34 pm

    You Inspire Me Stephanie…can’t wait for Summer to read some of your interesting books you’ve blogged about. I am so busy with teaching because I’ve been out but I cannot wait to pick up one of your reviewed books. Thanks Steph. Hope you are feelin’ good. 🙂

  6. May 8, 2009 12:16 am

    What a wonderful guest post! I read my first Eileen Goudge novel as a college student and can still remember some of the major characters and scenes (Garden of Lies). I should get it out and read it again! Love the cover for this new one. 🙂

  7. May 8, 2009 9:57 pm

    What a personal post…I loved hearing about how this story came to life and her parents amazing love story!

  8. May 14, 2009 9:17 am

    “When his Alzheimer’s progressed to the point that she finally did put him in a nursing home, it lasted all of one day before she rushed in to reclaim him. Even though she had difficulty controlling him and hew own health was deteriorating, she wanted him near her.”

    What a beautiful testimony of true love and devotion!

    I’m convinced. I have to read this book. Lovely guest post.

  9. October 22, 2009 10:03 am

    I remember hearing a speaker talk about how women are meant to nurture their young, while men are meant to provide the stable and secure environment necessary for that nurturing to take place. ,

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