Other books byLouise Shaffer
The Ladies of Garrison Gardens
Charles Valley’s legendary dowagers, the three Miss Margarets, have lost one of their own: Peggy Garrison, who married into a huge fortune but was constantly overshadowed by the legacy her husband’s first wife, the great Myrtis Garrison. When Peggy’s will is read, the news of who will take over the Garrison fortune shakes the town to its core. To everyone’s shock, Peggy has left all of the Garrison holdings–the world-famous botanical gardens, the massive resort, and the lovely Garrison “Cottage,” where FDR once visited–to the town’s down-and-out wild child, Laurel Selene McCready. Laurel was like a daughter to Miss Peggy, but the last thing she wants to do is step into Miss Peggy’s shoes as the wealthiest, most powerful person in town, especially since the Garrison fortune never bought Peggy any happiness. On top of that, when Laurel reluctantly explores her hew home, the storied Garrison Cottage, she discovers that mysteries abound when it comes to the great Miss Myrtis. What clues are hidden in an old suitcase containing a child’s dress and sheet music dating back to the Southern Vaudeville circuit? Who is the elderly woman outside Atlanta who has been keeping track of the Garrison estate’s every development via the Charles Valley Gazette? And how will Laurel avoid the fate of her two predecessors whose secrets have far greater implications than Laurel could ever have imagined? Culminating in an unforgettable sleight of hand, proving that behind every great fortune there is a great crime, The Ladies of Garrison Gardens is as page-turning and irresistible as its predecessor. From the Hardcover edition.
Louise Shaffer brings to life three generations of Italian American women in this stunning novel of surprises, secrets, and serendipity. A child of theatrical royalty, Carrie Manning is having a hard time getting her own act together. Thirty-seven, aimless, and having just buried a famous mother she never understood, she is desperate to uncover her family’s mysterious past in the hopes that it will help her understand herself. Carrie’s search reveals the fascinating life stories of her estranged grandmother Lu, a glamorous Broadway star whose dreams came with a price; her great grandmother Mifalda, who gave up everything to come to America as a sixteen-year-old Italian bride; and her father, Bobby, the charismatic Broadway genius who wrote some of Lu’s greatest musicals and died tragically young. At the heart of Carrie’s discoveries lies the reason for her mother’s complicated life, and a dark secret that has been buried for thirty years.
Looking for a Love Story
In Louise Shaffer’s delightfully charming new novel, a hopeless romantic (and author adrift) searches for a happy ending—and decides to write her own love story. After the success of her first novel, Love, Max—an irresistibly funny look at divorce as seen through a dog’s eyes—Francesca’s fictional saga becomes real when her sexy photographer husband bails on her. The good news is that Francesca gets custody of their apartment and their dog—an adoring scamp who has mastered the art of unconditional love. Still, a girl and her dog have to eat, so a desperate search for income leads Francesca to Chicky, a spunky, red-haired octogenarian who wants Francesca to write the memoirs of her parents, Joe and Ellie, who toured the vaudeville circuit in the early 1920s. Francesca is reluctant to take the job, but Chicky’s tales soon lure her into a showbiz era as irresistible and unlikely as the love story that unfolds. As she re-creates Joe and Ellie’s story, Francesca reflects, with hilarious honesty, on her own childhood and marriage—and discovers how to put the pieces of her life back together in a way that redefines herself and the true meaning of family and love.
Louise Shaffer follows her beloved novels The Three Miss Margarets and The Ladies of Garrison Gardens with an unforgettable tale of poignancy, wit, and high drama. Katie Harder and Randa Jennings live on opposite coasts, have never met, and have almost nothing in common–except that they’re both named after Shakespearean characters. Everything Katie has ever done or possessed–her New York City co-op, her career as a writer for a daytime drama–was given to her by her late mother, in her day a flamboyant soap opera queen. Randa, on the other hand, has escaped the trappings of a difficult past and forged a life as a single mom, juggling her work as a Hollywood business manager with the needs of her precocious eleven-year-old daughter. Life takes an unpredictable turn for these two strangers when they jointly inherit the century-old Venable Opera House, a stately but run-down theater in small-town Georgia. Puzzled at this peculiar legacy, Katie and Randa are at first eager to unload their white elephant. But as they spend more time in the old theater, they come to realize that a rich heritage is at stake. A line of strong women–starting with Juliet Venable in the late nineteenth century–has been responsible for keeping the grand old place up and running. In the face of huge obstacles, including a dying theater culture and their own personal struggles, these singular women have gone to drastic measures to keep the opera house in the family–including burying a devastating family secret that could destroy the carefully cultivated Venable legend forever. Now, as a local contractor seeks to tear down the landmark, Katie and Randa must decide not only if they want to unravel their mysterious connection to the theater and maintain its tradition but if they have what it takes to keep the Venable family legacy alive. A sprawling page-turner about maintaining family honor and lifelong dreams, Family Acts is Louise Shaffer’s most powerful and assured novel to date. From the Hardcover edition.