When I started thinking about BLYTHEWOOD, before it was even called that, I knew I wanted to write a supernatural young adult set in the past and that was about it. I had written many books with historical parts to them and I enjoy the research and process that goes into transporting yourself into another time. I got the inspiration for just which time period I wanted to use from my daughter’s work. My daughter was (and still is) working on a long webcomic set in Edwardian England called Penny Dreadful. She had been working on it for quite some time before BLYTHEWOOD even entered my head, and had talked my ear off about the time period many times, especially about the art and fashion since she is an artist herself. Our house was already littered in reference books such as “Costume Reference No. 7: The Edwardians.”About BLYTHEWOOD:
My daughter’s fascination with the Edwardian period started mine. The turn of the 20th century is like any transitional time period, rich with the overturning of old customs and the infusion of new ideas. The 1910s specifically have the dread of WWI hanging over them like the sword of Damocles giving any story set there an added weight. My interest hopped the pond though, and found a rich vein to tap in the stirrings of labor movements and suffragettes. When researching 1911, the year my daughter’s story is set, I was drawn to the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, a true tragedy in our country’s history, and suddenly found the beginning of my novel. My daughter’s comic and my own novel both find our heroines thrown without a parachute not only into a supernatural world once unbeknownst to them, but also thrown into a time long ago where everything was beginning to change.
At seventeen, Ava Hall is already orphaned and working at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory when her life is turned upside down by the horrific fire that kills her best friend and leaves her questioning her sanity. After a summer locked away in a mental institution, Ava is sent to Blythewood, the boarding school where Ava's mother spent the happiest years of her life. But Blythewood is no ordinary finishing school for young ladies: it's a training ground for magical warriors who form the mortal world's only line of defense against the evil world of Faerie.
As Ava develops her own powers, she seeks to solve the many mysteries in her life: Who was the handsome young man who helped save her from the fire-- and why does she remember him having wings? Why did her mother commit suicide? Who is the sinister stranger who's been following her from the city, and what's his connection with the deaths and disappearences that are plaguing Blythewood? When evil broadens its scope beyond the Blythewood campus to impact world events, Ava must decide whom to align herself with, and figure out how to stop the dark forces, even if that means going against everything she’s been taught.
Set in New York's Hudson Valley in the early 1900s, the gothic Blythewood Trilogy vividly portrays a world-- both real and imagined--on the brink of change, and one girl's quest for the truth about her world, her school, and herself.
About Carol Goodman:
Bestselling author Carol Goodman’s books have been nominated for the IMPAC award twice, the Simon & Schuster/Mary Higgins Clark award, and the Nero Wolfe Award. Her second novel, The Seduction of Water, won the Hammett Prize in 2003. Visit her at carolgoodman.com.
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