Are you a fan of Pink Chimneys?—the wonderful novel by Ardeana Hamlin set in 19th century Bangor, a time of great prosperity and grim poverty, of great fortunes and dramatic busts? Wondering what became of Maude, Fanny, and Elizabeth after their lives in the notorious house with the pink chimneys?
Well, we have the answers and we couldn't be happier! Next year, we will release Ardeana's sequel, Abbott's Reach, which stars M who was born at the end of Pink Chimneys.
For those not familiar with Ardeana, she works at the Bangor Daily News and is a Kennebec Valley girl who grew up in Bingham in the 1950s and 1960s in the days of the river drives, the veneer mill and the woods operations. She is the daughter of a registered Maine guide and woodsman, and an Avon lady. She starting working in the newspaper business as a freelance writer in 1985 and as a proofreader, copyeditor, reporter and columnist since 2000. She says she enjoys digging in the dirt of her flower beds, doing needlework, and lolling in the hammock under the maple tree at her home in Hampden. In addition to Pink Chimneys, she wrote A Dream of Paris.
We are just starting the next round of editing with Ardeana, but here is a sneak peak at the book's opening lines:
The tide was running out fast. Tangled as it was in the hard, swift current of the Penobscot River flowing toward the Atlantic, the water’s surface showed crinkles and creases, signs of a treacherous undertow. It was the action of those currents, river and tide, that created the thin spit of sand bar, shaped like a ship’s anchor, where M stood looking out across the water.
Behind her, the small, sandy beach sloped gradually upward to a rim of sparse vegetation—apple trees and tall grass interspersed with the late summer wildflowers—asters and goldenrod. There, the land sloped upward more steeply before it leveled out to the grassy expanse where her grandmother’s boarding house, Abbott’s Reach, stood.
M had lived in the big, airy house since her eighth year when her father’s ship, Fairmount, had foundered in a tropical storm off Cape Hatteras in the Carolinas. Her younger sister, Grace, had been swept overboard and drowned. After that, her parents, Abner and Elizabeth Giddings, would not take M with them on their voyages, so great was their fear of losing M, too. They decided that M would live with her grandmother, Fanny Abbott, who had once called herself Fanny Hogan, and had been the mistress of the notorious house in Bangor known as Pink Chimneys.