The Golden Notebook in Woodstock does what independent bookstores everywhere do best: It offers personalized service in the heart of town and supports the community with in-store events that give a voice to local authors. In fact, says the store’s Nan Tepper, recent renovations enlarging the upstairs space will now enable them to offer even more opportunities for local authors to conduct readings and share their work with area residents.
On Saturday, February 9 at 4 p.m., the Golden Notebook will host Hudson Valley-based writer Christine Wade, reading from her first novel, Seven Locks. The book won a James Jones Fellowship Award for an unpublished novel in 2009, and was published under the Atria Books imprint of Simon & Schuster in January 2013.
The storyline of Seven Locks spans the years 1769 to 1790, following a Dutch villager who lives on a farm at the foot of the Catskill Mountains with her husband and children. When her husband mysteriously disappears one day without a trace, dark rumors about his disappearance circulate in the region as the lost man’s wife is left alone to find the means to ensure her family’s survival, in a poignant exploration of family love, secrets and misunderstandings.
In the “Acknowledgments” section of the novel, which the author describes as “opening with a mystery and ending with a literary twist,” Wade says that the inspiration to write Seven Locks came as “I was sitting on my porch at the top of Platte Clove just over the Blue Mountain reading The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, when the roll of a summer thunderstorm posed a question to me: What was it like for a frontier farmwife to have her husband disappear without a trace on the eve of the Revolutionary War?”
Seven Locks will take local readers to familiar locations as they were during the period of the American Revolution, with scenes set in Saugerties, Kingston, the Rondout, Stone Ridge and Rhinecliff. Wade says that “The novel was born from my enduring love of the area and its rich local lore,” an appreciation she first came to when attending Bard College.
Wade is a former associate director of a research center at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, where for over a decade, she and her colleagues conducted research on women’s health care preferences and the choices of the underserved. “My science writing and my novel are actually similar,” she says, “in that they tell the story of women’s quest for autonomy in a changing and sometimes violent world.”
Seven Locks is Wade’s first novel and first fictional writing. The title comes from an old Dutch proverb, “The future is a book with seven locks,” which basically translates as meaning “The future cannot be predicted.” Wade writes that she used the expression because “It had an authentic Old World ring that evokes the forward march of time by referencing the future. Time, anxiety about time passing, lost time and memory are all themes of the book that are evoked (but not explained) by this proverb.”
For more information about Seven Locks and Christine Wade, visit www.christinewadebooks.com.
Christine Wade reads from Seven Locks, Saturday, February 9, 4 p.m., free, The Golden Notebook, 29 Tinker Street, Woodstock; (845) 679-8000, https://goldennotebook.indiebound.com.