Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner signs her newest book for Carla Suto

USA Today’s best selling author of historical fiction, Susan Meissner, visited the Pell City Public Library to celebrate the release of her new book “The Nature of Fragile Things.”

Meissner said she was excited to have an opportunity to meet people face-to-face who read her books for the first time in a year and a half. She also said she was excited to be visiting Alabama.

“It's a history my family has not been a part of, and it’s interesting. The food, scenery, magnolias, greenery, cicadas and the fireflies are all rather magical,” said Meissner.

After the meet and greet, Meissner gave a presentation about the history behind San Francisco and origins of her characters. She told the audience how she traveled all over San Francisco to understand the layout of the city. In addition, she also did in-depth research on the history of San Andreas Fault earthquakes.

The novel follows a young woman named Sophie in 1914 who moves from Manhattan to California to be with a mysterious man after answering an ad in the newspaper. Within a year, she becomes married and the mother of a child the widower had with his previous wife.

An earthquake hits San Francisco, triggering a firestorm that levels most of the city to the ground. The rest of the novel is about Sophie’s journey with her new child and three friends she makes out of a disastrous time.

“When I hear authors talk about their writing, I’m always amazed at how much research goes into writing historical fiction. Something like this takes a lot more time to develop,” said Melanie Falconer, a member of a local book club called “A Novel Bunch.”

“We love meeting authors, it gives you such a different perspective and feeling about the story the author is telling.” said fellow “Novel Bunch” reader, Carla Suto.

This event took place as part of the library’s ongoing Adult Summer Programming series.

“We are thrilled because she is very popular with our patrons. Her books get checked out all of the time,” said Susan Mann, assistant director of the library. “She does historical fiction and she’s very true to history, she does her research and her characters and history come alive.”

The next adult program at the Pell City Library will be a life concert of Celtic music featuring Jil Chambless and Robert Muse on Aug. 4 at 12 p.m.

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