Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

QUERY: Stillwater

Dear Agent,

STILLWATER (145,000 words) is a character-driven, modern retelling of Jane Austen’s most controversial novel, Mansfield Park. Set in a historic plantation house in the sugarlands of Louisiana, this novel will appeal to readers searching for reimaginings of Austen such as Miss Austen by Gill Hornby, or Whit Stillman’s novel Love and Friendship. Even without reference to Austen, STILLWATER can be appreciated in its own right as literary fiction in the style of A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.

Stillwater, owned by the Andrews family since before the Civil War, is the grandest surviving plantation house in Louisiana, and petite Cajun Melly Arceneaux its humblest resident. Painfully introverted, physically fragile, informally adopted by her benignly neglectful Andrews godparents, Melly prefers to linger in the shadows of her beloved Stillwater as a companion and drudge. As long as she can depend on the friendship of idealistic seminarian turned teacher Malcolm Andrews, and escape the notice of his worldly siblings and the ruthlessly efficient estate manager Esther Davis, she is content.

But when a pair of dazzlingly amoral siblings from New York City, Alys and Ian Winter, take a lease on one of Stillwater's old cottages, Melly finds her friendship with Malcolm, her secure home, and her integrity assailed from every side. The Winters, cheerfully ready to disrupt every aspect of life at Stillwater, discover to their fascination that Melly’s meekness can hide an astonishing reserve of fierce inner strength. And Melly will discover whether she has the courage not only to stand alone in her convictions, but to fight for Malcolm and for Stillwater at the risk of losing them forever.

I live in Ohio, and grew up making summer visits to my grandparents in their antebellum home near Baton Rouge. Theater is my first love, but reading classic literature aloud to my children is a close second.

Thank you for considering my novel, and I look forward to hearing from you.




Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Well, it makes me want to read your novel. :-)

Kathleen said...

I LOVED the novel. I hope the publisher start a bidding war. The setting would be great for a movie. The ball scene might be expanded . . .

mandamum said...


Ladyhobbit said...

I really enjoyed that novel, and I hope that it will be published!

Bob the Ape said...

Good luck!