Sneak Peek: The Memory of Lemon

When I was in college in Ohio, my parents bought a second home across the Ohio River in Augusta, Kentucky. 

You had to take a ferry to get there, and I remember the feeling of the river running beneath my feet as I stood on the deck. The Augusta skyline got closer and closer. I felt like I had left my old life behind and stepped into a place where time had stood much stiller. 

On the wide front porch of the Old Methodist Church, built in 1819, which my parents had converted into a two-bedroom home, I could watch the river in all its moods--somber gray in winter, sparkling green in sunlight, muddy and turbulent during a storm. My mother planted an herb garden full of old-fashioned favorites like blue-starred borage, Rober's Lemon Rose scented geranium, medicinal horehound.

I didn't know then that the seed of a book had been planted.

In the fall of 2014, I went back to Augusta and stayed in a log cabin to get the feel of it.

I could see the where a long-ago ax had made its mark on the logs, and where a long-ago hand had chinked with clay and pebbles from the creek.

And so with a different kind of toil--fingers on a keyboard--I wove stories together. Neely, the intuitive pastry chef, who tries to come to terms with the father who abandoned her and to a dissolution of her marriage.  A new love trying to bloom. The Wanderers and Healers who have something to reveal to her as well as a recalcitrant bride and her society mother. 

My daughter Sarah was getting married as I was finishing this book (no resemblance to the mother/daughter drama in the book, thank goodness!). 

Her ring was created with family diamonds, passed down through generations, and we imagined all the women in our family coming together, in spirit, to wish her a happy life.

Isn't that what we all want? To find the place where we belong and bloom there.

If you e-mail me and tell me you have ordered or purchased The Memory of Lemon, I will send you a downloadable booklet of recipes, my thank you!

Kentucky Lemon Pie
This recipe, passed down through generations and families, holds a key to understanding in The Memory of Lemon. Made with thin sliced whole lemons, it’s puckery and tart. And my family's favorite.
Makes 1 9-inch pie
Pastry for a double-crust pie
2 large lemons
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, well beaten
 Slice lemons paper thin, rind and all; discard seeds. Combine with the sugar in a bowl. Let stand 2 hours or longer, preferably blending occasionally. Add beaten eggs to the lemon mixture; mix well. Turn into a 9-inch pie shell, arranging lemon slices evenly. Cover with top crust. Cut several slits near the center. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a silver knife inserted near the edge of the pie comes out clean. Cool before serving.
From We Make You Kindly Welcome: Recipes from the Trustees House Daily Fare, Pleasant Hill, Kentucky.


Lynne Tyo Becker said...

Judith do you happen to know if the old Methodist church that your parents remodeled had any history with the Underground Railroad, being so close to the Ohio River?
Lynne Tyo Becker

Judith Fertig said...

Lynn, they never found any connection for the church, but I can't imagine there wasn't a link to the Underground Railroad. I created a link in The Memory of Lemon because Ripley is fairly close by on the Ohio side.

Sue said...

Just finished reading a Net Galley copy of The Memory of Lemon. What a delight to find this blog post - your photos are absolutely what I saw in my mind as I read the story. I'm impressed!

Thank you for the delightful read. Now I have to backtrack and look for your other work!

Judith Fertig said...

Thank you so much, Sue! I'm glad this is what you pictured as well. If you feel so inclined, would you consider writing a short review on I would so appreciate it.

Sue said...

Actually, I left a review on Goodreads before I found your blog. I have edited it, however, to reflect how impressed I am with the visual tie-in. Here:

Tea said...

How you came to write your story is enjoyable to read. I remember Lydia talking about Augusta, Kentucky a few pages back in the book. I haven't gotten far in...."Memory...Lemons." I'm really liking it.

Caren said...

Loved both books! I can't wait for the next one!

Judith Fertig said...

Thank you, Caren! I've just finished the manuscript on a bbq book to be published next year, so will be back to posting soon.

Anonymous said...

When will the next book about Neely & Rainbow Cake be out? Can't wait! Cathy B.