Norah Aven Letter 1 - The House

The House on Barbara Rd.

Welcome to our first Norah Aven Chronicles behind the scenes Learn Post! I’m so excited to be able to share this story with you in such a fun and interactive way. I started creating this story looooooooooong before The Flower Letters ever existed. In fact, Norah’s character started visiting my imagination clear back in 2002.

The blog posts that will accompany each Chronicle will be a fun place where I can share some of the places, stories, and experiences that inspired this story. They won’t be too long, because I don’t want to spoil any of the story for you, but I always love learning about what inspired my favorite stories, so I hope you will enjoy them.

Chronicle #1: Memory Lapse and the beginning of the Norah Aven Chronicles begins in a place that is very dear to my heart. When I was about Norah’s age, I left my very small town in rural Utah and went on the biggest adventure of my life (to that point.) My sister invited me to spend the summer with her and her husband in Boston, MA. Ever since I was a little girl and fell in love with the writing of Louisa May Alcott, I’ve wanted to visit Boston. So, I got my parents’ permission, and spent the summer between my sophomore and junior year in high school living and working out in Boston. (Little did I know that my husband Michael also lived in Boston. We didn’t fall in love until years later, but that’s just a fun personal note.)

The house that I spent a significant amount of time in while I was there, was my future in-law’s house—the most beautiful colonial-style house I’d ever seen. It’s located in Belmont, MA (a suburb of Boston) and sat on the top of a hill at the end of Barbara Rd. I loved my time spent in this house so much, I decided to make it Dr. Lukens’ residence. This is the house Norah Aven is coming home to after her long year away at Dunstan Academy.

Here are a few pictures of the real house and surrounding woods, to give you a sense of place for the story.

Hannie Clark