In LIFE AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES (August 6!), there’s a big old house on the water in Connecticut. It has a name—Sheerwater—and is based on an actual house that was for sale a few years back when I was just forming the book. It has twenty-two rooms, a turret, a yoga studio and ten acres of land on a rocky point overlooking Long Island Sound.
When I was sixteen, I babysat for a wealthy Connecticut family, and I got to go to such a house for a party, where my job was the herd the children and save their ickle lives should they fall off the private dock. I did so admirably, as I recall…no fatalities, lots of happy kids. But I remember my wonder, even then, at the fact that this family had a massive, beautiful house on the water. I wondered how the heck anyone could afford such a place, let alone as a second (or third) home. It was so beautiful. If it had been mine, I thought, I’d just sit there and look at the ocean and never leave.
My family does have a little house on the Cape…a sweet little place with wall-to-wall carpeting, a fireplace you can’t use, and knotty pine walls. We’re about a mile from the ocean, but you can see the lighthouse beam at night, and the stars are brilliant. Little bunny rabbits run through the yard, thrilling Willow and Luther. Our yard is overgrown, but the Cape Cod roses still drape over the fence. Yesterday, I spent an hour cutting vines out of the big cedar tree and got quite sweaty and scratched and was very proud of my accomplishments.
It’s not Sheerwater, which is staffed by a housekeeper who hasn’t worked in 20 years and has a cook who seems to hate food. There’s a solarium and a wisteria bower, a library. I wouldn’t mind staying in a place like Sheerwater, but our little Cape house—which we uncreatively call the Cape house—this is my heart’s home.
And by the way, pre-order LIFE, and proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. www.kristanhiggins.com/Life-and-Other-Inconveniences