By Lori McGee
Best selling Lowcountry author Mary Alice Monroe visited Somerby of Mount Pleasant on Thursday, November 29 for a very special book signing and talk with residents and visitors from the community.
Mary Alice spoke about her newest book, one of my personal favorites, Beach House Memories, a sequel to The Beach House, Mary Alice’s first New York Times bestseller. When Mary Alice moved with her husband to the Isle of Palms in 1999, after visiting the Lowcountry for years, she became a “turtle lady” after meeting local resident Mary Pringle. Researching and learning about the plight of the endangered sea turtles became a lifelong passion and changed her career. She became licensed through the Department of Natural Resources and life has never been the same. Her untiring dedication to this beloved, endangered species is inspirational to all those who know her. Mary Alice takes her time researching when writing a new novel and it’s extremely important to have her readers intimately know what she is writing about. Mary Alice takes such care in capturing your imagination in all her works.
Mary Alice Monroe is a storyteller and a very dedicated environmental activist. She started as a volunteer at the Sea Turtle Hospital at the SC Aquarium and now sits on their Board of Directors. There are many dangers for the sea turtle in their natural habitat, most being slashed by boat propellers or bitten by sharks. Mary Alice is very passionate about her work with the sea turtles and after hearing their stories; it makes you want to join her team.
Mary Alice had us all enthralled when she spoke about her popular book, The Butterfly’s Daughter, about four very different women who embark on a transformational journey that follows the migrating monarchs across the United States to Mexico. The story begins when Luz Avila’s grandmother, (Abuela) the local butterfly lady, purchases an old, orange VW bug for a road trip home to Mexico. When she unexpectedly dies, Luz is inspired to take her grandmother’s ashes home. Luz’s journey attracts a collection of women, each seeking change in their lives. Luz taps into ancient rituals and myths as she follows the spectacular, glittering river of orange monarchs in the sky to home. Mary Alice shared with us that she has wanted to write a novel set against butterflies for years. As she began researching butterflies, however, the monarch stood out among all of them. “Who doesn’t love butterflies?” she said. “It’s the only butterfly, the only insect, that migrates like a bird or a whale. Every fall this brave, fragile creature travels thousands of miles across the country, joining millions of others, to reach their overwintering grounds in Mexico. It is a sacred journey of instinct and courage. Then in the spring, they journey north again.”
Mary Alice’s new novel will debut in paperback in July, 2013, and is titled Summer Girls and features the beloved dolphin. I personally can’t wait to go on another journey with Mary Alice as she teaches us, inspires us, and delivers another beautiful novel of self-discovery.
Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of fourteen novels, including Beach House Memories, The Butterfly’s Daughter, Time Is a River, and Last Light Over Carolina. Her latest novel, Beach House Memories, is the prequel to her bestsellers The Beach House and Swimming Lessons. For more information about Mary Alice’s books, visit her at MaryAliceMonroe.com.