By Gabrielle L. Wheeler
I love to read – and it makes it doubly fun to read books set in places in which you are familiar. It is definitely fun to read books set in the Finger Lakes Region, trying to guess if I know what places inspired the locations and stories.
My sister recently loaned me a book that I’m currently reading. It’s a signed copy of A Taste for Death: A Finger Lakes Wine Mystery, by Don Stevens. Published in 2014 by Merge Publishing, which is also local to the region, the novel is a who-done-it revolving around the death of a famous wine critic at a newly established winery on Seneca Lake. Per Stevens’ webpage, donstevensauthor.com, a prequel, Bitter Harvest, was published as an ebook in 2017.
Five years ago, I was involved in a book club at my local library and we decided to read a book set in the Finger Lakes Region – The Best Man, by Kristan Higgins. It’s a quirky romance inspired by places like Fulkerson Winery and the town of Hammondsport. Our club had even more fun when the author came to town a few months later to do a book signing. As a treat, we were able to meet Higgins before the signing, and she was taken with my son who was about six months old at the time. Higgins is an award-winning author and followed The Best Man with a number of other novels set in the region. Check out her webpage at kristanhiggins.com.
Speaking of kids, I love children’s books more than novels, and I’ve heard of a new picture book being displayed at the local book stores. W is for Waterfall: An Alphabet Book of the Finger Lakes Region of New York State, by Aileen Easterbrook and illustrated by Johanna Van Der Sterre. The book takes readers through the region by letter. Subjects touch on history, agriculture, art, fishing, and even environmental concerns. The pictures are colorful and the text informational. We haven’t yet gotten our copy, but the local library has.
Over the years, I’ve read a couple of other books whose plot is set in the Finger Lakes Region, and enjoy reading works by local authors as well. What is more enjoyable than sitting at the lake reading about drama between the shores?