Maisie's world --
By Jim Concannon --
Globe Staff / March 3, 2009 --
Author Jacqueline Winspear splits her life between homes in sunny, laid-back California and rainy, buttoned-up England. So it seems somehow appropriate that this Thursday she'll be halfway between both places on a tour through the Boston area. (And just what does the reality of that geographical midpoint make this city? A place with unsettled weather and occasionally tense people? Sounds about right.)
Winspear is the author of a popular six-book mystery series featuring Maisie Dobbs, a British psychologist and investigator during the late 1920s and early '30s. The fictional Dobbs is a woman with institutional clout and influence, a combination that might seem unusual for the times, until you realize that Britain suffered 2 million male casualties in World War I, opening the way for women in myriad professions, often by necessity, since the shortage of men also reduced prospects for a traditional family life. To put it another way, the Rosie the Riveters who took over American factories and other businesses in World War II started flexing their biceps 25 years earlier on the far side of the Atlantic.
"This is a generation of women who came of age in a terrible time, and now they had to go forward alone, responsible for their financial security, nurturing relationships to sustain them as they grew older, and creating a place for themselves in their communities," writes Winspear. "As a storyteller, I wanted the character of Maisie Dobbs to reflect the spirit of that generation, and I wanted to use the years between the wars as a backdrop for the mysteries that my characters [who often include unstable war veterans] are drawn into."
Winspear's latest novel is "Among the Mad," in which Dobbs must race to save London from a terrorist threat. Winspear will read from her book at 7 p.m. Thursday at the First Parish Church, 3 Church St., Cambridge. For advance tickets, call 617-661-1515.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Maisie's world (Jacqueline Winspear)
From The Boston Globe --