Thea Celik has devoted herself to running her Newport coffee shop, to parenting her daughter, and to being a meaningful part of her in-law’s loving family. Her life is mild but satisfying—she’s sure of her place in the community and in her family. But when her childhood friend and husband Jonathan uncharacteristically cheats on her, her certainty about her role in the world is shaken.
Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier is the story of one woman’s determination to rediscover a new life while trying to maintain the old. The book asks, When the bonds of friendship, family, and love are tested, how long will they hold?
Lisa Dale is also the author of Simple Wishes and It Happened One Night. You can read more about her and her books on her blog, her Facebook page, and on twitter. She enjoys meeting with book groups via Skype (or even in person in the NJ/NY/CT tri-state area).
When I asked Lisa about writing a ‘spotlight on bookstores’ post, she asked if she could write about libraries instead. But of course! A building filled with books … and people who love books?!? This sounds like a place I could spend some time:
Each day, after middle school ended, I would walk to the library (because the library was closer than my house), and I would hang around until my mother came to pick me up after she got out of work. I spent lots of hours in that library. I mean, lots.
In theory, I was there to get my homework done. Instead, I read novels.
I plucked random books from the shelves and read and read—and sometimes snuck in math and science when I absolutely had to.
I read anything and everything—I found one of my lifelong favorites, Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, by browsing (I remember being nervous that it was too “old” for me when I was middle school, but I loved it just the same). I was reading Tolstoy one month, but I was reading the Sweet Valley High series or The Babysitter’s Club the next.
Being alone in a library is a great way to get an education. Not only for the brain, but for the imagination as well.
The library kicked my imagining into overdrive. The old building had a staircase that curled majestically up the center of the building—I used to imagine walking up and down it in a giant and gorgeous ball gown, as opposed to my habitual tennis shoes and rolled up jeans.
But for all my reading and writing and daydreaming, I’d never seriously thought about being an author when I was young. People used to ask me if I wanted to write professionally, and I told them “no way.” Even when I was in college and a professor suggested—with dire earnestness—that I should consider being a writer, I scoffed.
I was intensely serious about my writing. But memories of all those books I saw on the library shelves…they were like something out of a dream. Not the stuff of real life.
Now, the release of Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier marks my third novel—and of course it’s a dream come true.
Funny enough, I think that the books I’m writing now are the books I was looking for when I was browsing library shelves as a kid—romantic and thoughtful. Sexy and intensely emotional in a poetic way.
And as for my old library, and all my hours of reading and daydreaming there, I sometimes drive past when I’m back in my hometown. But I haven’t gone back in.
This may be cheesy but it’s the truth: I used to imagine there was secret treasure buried in the basement. Now I know it was always right out in the open, sitting on the shelves.
Thank you, Lisa! Your essay brought back great memories of the many hours I spent in our library after school. I’m looking forward to adding Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier to my home library, and am going to check to see that this treasure is on the shelves of our local library as well.