Tracy Chevalier To Visit Toledo, Ohio

Posted on January 10, 2017

by April S

Historical novelist Tracy Chevalier is known for weaving together new worlds from non-fiction, and never more fantastically than when she is addressing the great mysteries of art history. Known for her best-selling novel Girl with a Pearl Earring (adapted for the big screen in 2003), Chevalier’s writing has taken readers to far-flung locales, from Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer’s 17th-century studio to a medieval Parisian court. Her most recent novel, though, takes its cue not from art galleries but from the Black Swamp. At the Edge of the Orchard follows a struggling family as they try to make it in Northwest Ohio.

Chevalier will give a free reading from At the Edge of the Orchard on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Great Gallery, with a book signing to follow. Books will be available for purchase. The program is co-presented by the Toledo Museum of Art and the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and made possible, in part, through support from the Library Legacy Foundation; for details, visit Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 | 7 p.m. Toledo Museum of Art Great Gallery | 2445 Monroe St. | Toledo, OH 43620 Admission: Free! For more information, contact the Museum Information desk: 419.255.8000, ext. 7448 or visit


At the Edge of the Orchard: A Novel by Tracy ChevalierAt the Edge of the Orchard: A Novel by Tracy Chevalier

From international bestselling author Tracy Chevalier, an ambitious American novel of a pioneer family and a westward push that extends over three generations and across a continent.

The Goodenough family have left nineteenth-century New England to settle in the swamps of western Ohio, bringing with them branches of a favorite apple tree. But the orchard they plant sows the seeds of a long battle between James and Sadie Goodenough over what to do with the fruit, revealing irreconcilable differences in character. The escalation of this war resonates through their children and forces the youngest, Robert Goodenough, to make an agonizing choice that haunts him as he runs away, grows up, and moves ever farther west. Only among the redwoods and sequoias of goldrush-era California does he find solace and, eventually, answers.

Moving back and forth between Ohio and California and anchored by two real-life tree men—legendary Johnny Appleseed and the English plant collector William Lobb—this epic novel chronicles the implosion of a pioneer family and the shock waves it sends through the generations and across America.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy ChevalierGirl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

The New York Times bestselling novel by the author of Remarkable Creatures and The Last Runaway.

Translated into thirty-nine languages and made into an Oscar-nominated film, starring Scarlett Johanson and Colin Firth

Tracy Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time and place in this richly-imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer’s most celebrated paintings.

History and fiction merge seamlessly in this luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening. Girl with a Pearl Earring tells the story of sixteen-year-old Griet, whose life is transformed by her brief encounter with genius . . . even as she herself is immortalized in canvas and oil.

The Last Runaway by Tracy ChevalierThe Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

Forced to leave England and struggling with illness in the wake of a family tragedy, Quaker Honor Bright is forced to rely on strangers in the harsh landscape of 1850 Ohio and is compelled to join the Underground Railroad network to help runaway slaves escape to freedom.

Remarkable Creatures: A Novel by Tracy ChevalierRemarkable Creatures: A Novel by Tracy Chevalier

When Mary Anning uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home on the English coast, she sets the religious fathers on edge, the townspeople to vicious gossip, and the scientific world alight. Luckily, Mary finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth Philpot. In the struggle to be recognized in the wider world, Mary and Elizabeth discover that friendship is their greatest ally.

Burning Bright by Tracy ChevalierBurning Bright by Tracy Chevalier

Poet, artist, and printer William Blake – local eccentric and political radical – works anonymously amidst the raucous din of a teeming, jittery London. Across the Channel, revolution is imploding in France. Nearby, the renowned Astley’s Circus is rehearsing its upcoming show, and next door the Kellaway family, recently arrived from the countryside, is moving in. Maggie Butterfield, the streetwise daughter of a local rogue, is looking for trouble – or at least a friend. When she and young Jem Kellaway are drawn into Blake’s spell, the chance meeting of three unusual souls sets the stage for an impassioned journal. Jem and Maggie spark the imagination of the poet, influencing one of the greatest and most mystical works in English literature, Songs of Innocence and of Experience.

Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre edited by Tracy ChevalierReader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre edited by Tracy Chevalier

This collection of original stories by today’s finest women writers — including Tracy Chevalier, Francine Prose, Elizabeth McCracken, Tessa Hadley, Audrey Niffenegger, and more — takes inspiration from the opening line in Charlotte Brontë’s most beloved novel, Jane Eyre. A fixture in the literary canon, Charlotte Brontë is revered by readers all over the world. Her novels featuring unforgettable, strong heroines still resonate with millions today. And who could forget one of literature’s best-known lines: “Reader, I married him” from her classic novel Jane Eyre? Part of a remarkable family that produced three acclaimed female writers at a time in nineteenth-century Britain when few women wrote, and fewer were published, Bronté has become a great source of inspiration to writers, especially women, ever since. Now in Reader, I Married Him, twenty of today’s most celebrated women authors have spun original stories, using the opening line from Jane Eyre as a springboard for their own flights of imagination.

The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy ChevalierThe Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier

Interweaves historical fact with fiction to explore the mystery behind the creation of the remarkable Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, woven at the end of the fifteenth century, which today hang in the Cluny Museum in Paris.

Falling Angels by Tracy ChevalierFalling Angels by Tracy Chevalier

In a novel of manners and social divisions set against the backdrop of turn-of-the-century England, two girls from different classes become friends, and their families’ lives become intertwined in the process.

The Virgin Blue by Tracy ChevalierThe Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier

Meet Ella Turner and Isabelle du Moulin – two women born centuries apart, yet tied together by a haunting family legacy. When Ella and her husband move to a small town in France, Ella hopes to brush up on her French, qualify to practice as a midwife, and start working on a family of her own. Village life turns out to be less idyllic than she expected, however, and a strange series of events propels her on a quest to uncover her family’s French ancestry. As the novel unfolds – alternating between Ella’s story and that of Isabelle du Moulin four hundred years earlier – a common thread emerges that pulls the lives of the two women together in a most mysterious way.

Blog text by Ben Malczewski

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