The dazzling decade, the 1920’s, and a beautiful young singer is torn between her fierce desire for independence–to create something of her own to give meaning and purpose to her life–and a deep abiding love for her husband, a medical missionary who will become royal physician to the court of Siam. Based on a true story, one young woman will travel from Philadelphia of the Roaring Twenties to the jungles of the Orient, to pre-war Paris and Rome, in the struggle to find her place in the world.
If the main character were alive today, what would her life be like?
The main character in The Moon in the Mango Tree, Barbara Perkins, is a beautiful young singer in the 1920’s who gives up her musical career for love, only to question that decision a few years later, with unexpected consequences. In her heart she is searching for an answer to the universal question: what is the real meaning and purpose of life? As your readers may know, Barbara Perkins was my grandmother and I was lucky enough to have her with me until I was a young woman. Take a look at the photographs she brought back from Siam in the 1920’s. They’re posted on my website: www.pamelaewen.com.
As a young woman today, my grandmother would have been fascinated with our twenty-first century world. The whole of her world in the 1920’s was the earth, and the outer boundaries were the clouds, stars, the sun and moon and her own imagination. Sometimes she dazzled me with stories of her travels, and with her questions about such things as whether music or our conversations here on earth actually exist forever, floating way out there somewhere in space. She was reflective and philosophical and would be fascinated with science today, with the idea of quantum particles which can be in two places at once and astrophysics–such things as black holes and dark matter. She would love how the internet, air travel, electronics, and cell phones have caused the world to shrink today. China, Africa, Russia, Siam (now Thailand)–magically those mysterious faraway places are now our neighborhoods, so unlike the little part of Philadelphia where she grew up almost a hundred years ago.
If she were a young woman today, I think Barbara Perkins would hop a shuttle to the moon, or Mars. She’d ride a rocket out to the edge of the universe, blasting right through all the old boundaries. She’d dance along the Milky Way, she’d sing with the stars. And she’d keep her quirky sense of humor, her laughter sounding an arpeggio of perfectly tuned bells.
In the 1920’s my grandmother finally found the answer to her question about the meaning and purpose of life. She found it when she was forced to make a choice between two things she loved at the end of the decade. Today, with all science has learned of the ebb and flow of the universe, I believe she’d still search out answers to that same old question–what is the meaning and purpose of life. I believe her ultimate answer would be the same, but this time she’d find a way to have it all.
Thank you so much for visiting Brooke Blogs today. I know my readers will enjoy this post as much as I did.
As her thigh rested between his legs, she could feel his excitement. She smiled to herself and decided to get a little daring. Hearing a groan come from him, a wicked grin spread across her face.
“Did you say something?” she looked up using her most innocent voice batting her eyelashes.
“Woman, you know exactly what you’re doing. Don’t play innocent with me.” Mac had a stern but playful look in his eyes.
About the Author
After practicing law for many years in Houston, Texas, Pamela Binnings Ewen exchanged her partnership in the law firm of BakerBotts, L.L.P for writing. She lives near New Orleans, Louisiana. In September, 2013, Ewen’s novel, An Accidental Life, will be released by B&H Publishing Group. In addition, in September 2013, an updated, second edition of Ewen’s best-selling non-fiction book, Faith on Trial, will be released, including a new ‘User’s Guide’.
In addition to the new releases, Pamela is the author of four novels from B&H Publishing Group, including Secret of the Shroud, The Moon in the Mango Tree (a 2009 Christy Award Finalist), Dancing on Glass (a 2012 Christy Award Finalist, and winner of a Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice Award), and Chasing the Wind ( a Romantic Times ‘Top Pick’). The Moon in the Mango Tree was recently honored as winner of the 2012 Eudora Welty Memorial Award given by the National League of American Pen Women.
Pamela’s fiction writing grows out of her faith journey, which resulted in Faith on Trial in 1999. Faith on Trial , along with Lee Strobel’s A Case for Christ, was chosen as a text for a course on law and religion at Yale Law School in 2000. Pamela is also featured in the film Jesus: Fact or Fiction, produced by Campus Crusade for Christ. An updated second edition of Faith on Trial (September, 2013) includes a new ‘User’s Guide’.
While practicing law Pamela served on the board of directors of Inprint, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting the literary arts in Houston, Texas. Pamela has also served on the board of directors of the New Orleans Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society and she is currently a member of the Board of Directors of The Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans. In 2007 she co-founded the Northshore Literary Society. Pamela received the St. Tammany Parish President’s Arts Award as Literary Artist of the Year in 2009.
Pamela is the latest writer to emerge from a Louisiana family recognized for its statistically improbable number of successful authors. A cousin, James Lee Burke, who won the Edgar Award, wrote about the common ancestral grandfathers in his Civil War novel White Dove At Morning.
Among other writers in the family are Andre Dubus (Best Picture Oscar nomination for The Bedroom; his son, Andre Dubus III, author of The House of Sand and Fog, a Best Picture Oscar nomination and an Oprah pick; Elizabeth Nell Dubus (the Cajun trilogy); and Alafair Burke, just starting out with the well-received Samantha Kincaid mystery series.