Wednesday, March 04, 2009


The Laws of Harmony is bit of a departure for me in several ways, although, having said that, the themes I wanted to explore in the book are some of the same themes that have always interested me…the way the past shapes the present and drives the future…the ways in which children grow up differently in the same family…the family dynamics of loss and grief…and most particularly, how the ties that bind mother and daughter—however we might struggle against them—are not easily undone.

One difference lies in the tone of the book, which I think is just a shade darker than my first three books, although there is plenty of what Publishers Weekly called “gentle humor.” I can’t really write a story without humor, anymore than I can write a story without food and music.

The other difference is that The Laws of Harmony has more plot than my earlier work, which some readers will like more than others. But on the whole, I still feel that the story is driven by the main character’s conflicting needs to escape the past and to come to terms with it. The book is really about her discovering that those two things are one and the same.

On my website,, you can watch a video trailer for the book, as well as a video I taped at the HarperCollins studios in New York last fall that details the true incident that sparked the idea for the story.

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