When my friend Angela, the assistant to New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe, emailed asking if I could help spread the word about Monroe's novel, Second Star to the Right, I replied without giving it a second thought.
"Yes," I said. "I want to be a part of this."
I'd only watched the book trailer, and I knew the novel would resonate. I don't really have a rule for how I decide if something fits my blog or doesn't. It's just something I sense and I know.
And, it's Mary Alice Monroe, y'all. She's literary royalty here in the Lowcountry of South Carolina (and lots of other places, I'm sure). But she lives here. And we like to claim her as ours.
Monroe first published Second Star to the Right back in 1999, under her married name Kruesi. At the time, she was working with two pen names (a mistake, in hindsight, she says) and today, we know her best as Mary Alice Monroe. Monroe got the rights back, and this week, she re-released Second Star to the Right.
This novel needed to be brought back to life. Monroe says the story came to her in a flash: a single mother of two finds herself living downstairs from an old woman who believes she's Peter Pan's Wendy.
I knew I'd love this story, and I wasn't exactly sure why until I read this passage...
Whatever it was inside of me, whatever kernel deep inside that enabled me to believe in fairies, in Peter, in the Neverland itself, this was the source of my strength. No one could ever take that away from me. As long as I believed, no matter where I was or with whom, I'd always belong. Because I was at home in my own heart.
This passage caught me off guard and made me cry. This has been my journey—learning to be at home in my own heart. And I've always felt that when it comes to what we believe, it's not about our ability to prove it or to convince others to see and believe what we see and believe. What's important is that we believe.
Believing in what's possible, being open to the goodness and to the people who are placed in our lives to lift us up, people who challenge us to open our eyes and see those good things—that's the key, I think. The key to finding home in our outer world, and within ourselves.
And that's why I'm glad I read this book.
Today, I'm excited to share my conversation with Mary Alice Monroe. We talk about what it's like to re-release this story, and of course we talk about the passage that made me cry. She shares why that passage, and this novel, Second Star to the Right is so special to her too.
I also have one e-book to give away! Leave a comment to enter. I'll announce the winner Monday.
**Update** The contest is now closed. Congrats to Roxanne! And thanks to everyone who commented.