LONGMEADOW – A new book by author Linda Cardillo is set to launch June 27. Entitled “A Place of Refuge“, it is the fourth novel in his First Light series and focuses on a character readers may recognize, Izzy Monroe.
Izzy first appeared as a child in Book Two, then was mentioned in Book Three due to a car accident. The character stuck with Cardillo, and eventually she realized she wanted to give Izzy a book of her own. The fourth book begins by going back in time to pick up the threads of Izzy’s story.
Cardillo started writing the book in 2019 while part of a writing group in Northampton. She had just brought in the first 30 pages to get feedback from fellow writers when COVID hit, and it all stopped.
“For a while, my creativity was gone,” Cardillo said. “I read later that it was a situation experienced by writers in general. This is called “longing”. Eventually, however, she gradually started writing again, and now the book is ready to be launched.
Back in the third book, Izzy’s identity had changed due to a car accident in which she experienced death and return. She suffered brain damage in the form of impaired short-term memory. In the fourth book, she must accept her situation.
To help her along the way, she takes a job on a farm in Italy owned by a friend’s grandfather. She finds purpose in it, but stays away, fearful of exposing her impairment. When a young priest arrives, sent by his order to deal with a crisis of faith, they find a connection, and a new understanding of themselves.
There are experiences in this book that the author knows personally. She too had a car accident at a young age and suffered brain damage. “Although the story’s setting, characters and plot are imagined, the emotional upheaval Izzy faces is based on my own struggle to recover from brain damage,” Cardillo explained.
The farm in Italy where Izzy goes to heal was also a place of refuge for the author.
In 2014, while working on the historical novel “Love That Moves the Sun,” about the relationship between poet Vittoria Colonna and artist Michaelangelo, Cardillo contracted Lyme disease and had to rest before starting the hard research work for the novel. . As in Izzy’s case, the farmhouse in Italy was recommended by a friend.
“I spent almost two weeks there, in paradise,” Cardillo said. “Three days of Lyme disease recovery in 2014, and another 10 days of writing in 2017.”
Explaining why she wrote a fourth book in this series, Cardillo said, “To me, my characters are real people. It’s hard to let them go at the end of a book.
“Actually,” she added with a smile, “there’s also another book – a short story, a prequel to the first book in the First Light series. It’s called ‘Catriona’s Vow’ and follows the parents of the original character who left Ireland and settled in Martha’s Vineyard.
The news is not for sale, but will be offered as a bonus.
Cardillo is the author of 11 books and two novels and has received several awards. “Love That Moves the Sun,” won first place in the Chaucer Book Award in historical fiction from before the 1750s, was winner in historical fiction of the NYC Big Book Award and was a finalist for the Indies Book of the Year .
“The Boat House Cafe” won first prize for 20th century fiction at the Goethe Awards for historical fiction.
“A Place of Refuge” will be released on June 27. Cardillo will read it at Storrs Library in Longmeadow on June 27 at 6:30 p.m. and at Enfield Library in Enfield on June 29 at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, visit her website at https://www.lindacardillo.com.