Question: Who heals the healers?
Plenty of folks have been asking me for some details about my current project.
Here’s an informal description of Eminent Domain, my new work in progress, which you may accurately guess is a novel of literary magical realism:
When COVID healthcare worker Cassie flees a treacherous job on the high-risk front lines, it’s to save her own soul. She seeks refuge in the neglected family farm she inherited years before, remote acreage nestled on a slough along the Washington coastline. Cassie hopes to create a new future for herself by resurrecting her grandmother’s historical plant nursery.
With so many laborious tasks to master, unexpected delays, unrealistic expectations about farm life, and the frustrating barriers caused by the pandemic, she remains haunted by relentless insomnia, PTSD, and social isolation.
Meanwhile, transportation crews have claimed a large swath of her land to stage a lengthy roadwork project, one her Grandma Ina would never have approved had she been alive …and for good reason. And they seem to have other ideas about how to exploit Cassie’s property.
Healing and justice come to Cassie through an uncanny ancestry with the land, guidance from the lingering spirit of her beloved Grandma Ina, neighbors who seem to live inside a fairy tale, and an unlikely friendship with a local woman facing a different nightmare: the uncertainties that come with a new multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
The book intertwines so many elements important to me:
- gardening and flowers
- the raw power of nature
- magical realism
- raising awareness
- sleep disorders
- multiple sclerosis
- mental health
- healthcare inequity
- moral injury among healthcare workers
- climate change
Most of all, this book connects me in so many ways to the spirit and memory of my own grandmother, who I conjure in my mind’s eye every time I pull a weed, plant a seed, harvest a cucumber, or deadhead a flower.
Any questions, thoughts or ideas? Drop me a note: tkswriter @ gmail.com
*Image credit: Beaver Lodge Menagerie by Sarah Gilman. Originally commissioned for the book, Eager, by Ben Goldfarb.