HISTORICAL FICTION: Windermere Plantation
To Mena Westwood,
Windermere Plantation offers the perfect opportunity to completely transform
herself. Determined to escape a past
that could have destroyed her, she arrives on the beautiful island of Barbados
in 1854, with an entirely new identity free at last to pursue her dream to
At almost every turn, Mena
faces struggles both large and small which challenge all she thought she knew
about herself. Yet life has never been
easy and despite the endless frustrations, Mena delights in her time at
When evil threatens to
destroy all Mena cares for, she realizes that life has made her the only one
equipped to confront the danger. The
dark parts of her life that she has run from and the bright parts of her life that
she now embraces have made her into a formidable woman.
How did I come up with Windermere?
On a business trip with my husband to Barbados in 2013 we spent one late afternoon driving randomly around the island. I was in particularly bad spirits as a terrible cold had interfered with just about every aspect of the trip. As I sat miserably in the passenger seat with my massive pile of tissues, we unwittingly drove literally to the end of the top of the island. The dirt road just suddenly stopped. As I climbed out of the car (while my husband maneuvered a k-turn) and stood amidst the windswept fields that surrounded me, Windermere Plantation was born. As I climbed back into the car in a decidedly better mood, I said, “I’ve got a story,” to which my husband said delightedly, “Here we go!”
The next day I began my research visiting the lovely St. Nicholas Abbey - a 350-year-old working sugar cane plantation. By departure day my head was already filled with the sounds of sugar cane blowing in the breeze, the smell of raw molasses as it was being turned into rum, and the whispering ghosts of those long passed who had walked through the halls of St. Nicholas’ Great House and wandered its extensive gardens. I didn’t think twice about the two old windmills we’d seen until much later.