Author Interview: Mary McNear

We're excited to welcome Mary McNear to Reading Lark today to discuss her novel, The Space Between Sisters.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What is your favorite thing about writing the Butternut Lake series? 

Mary: Butternut Lake is a safe and beautiful setting where people can confront the ghosts of the past, come to terms with mistakes they’ve made, acknowledge their losses, and move forward. It’s a town of second chances. And it’s a community of people who care about each other. That’s part of the spirit of Butternut Lake. And it’s is one of the things I love most about writing the series. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: I love the emphasis on family and relationships in this series. Was this a conscious choice or something that developed gradually? 

Mary: It’s something that developed gradually. But truthfully, I think relationships and families are the most interesting subjects to write about. I wanted to explore how bonds between people are formed and how they can fray; how love grows and evolves but how it can also be tested as well. Relationships between people—either in friendships, romantic relationships or in families—are complicated and challenging. But, in the end, they are what make us human. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: The Space Between Sisters features the story of Win and Poppy. Which sister are you most like? 

Mary: As you know, Win loves order and is a bit OCD. And Poppy is much more of a free spirit but she’s also pretty dysfunctional and irresponsible. I admire the best qualities in both sisters, but I’d have to say I’m a little bit more like Win. I’ve never been an irresponsible person who left others to pick up the pieces. Although I’ve never rearranged my linen closet or utensil drawers, like Win does! 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: If this novel was a cupcake, what kind would it be? 

Mary: It would be a cupcake with lemon filling and sweet chocolate frosting. A little tart and citrusy and a little sweet. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: It's a tradition for us to ask, what is your favorite bird? 

Mary: This isn’t very exotic, but I think the American Robin is my favorite bird. Their song is beautiful; both male and female tend to their young; they actually like fermented berries and have been known to occasionally act a little tipsy; and they have a sweet tooth! And, I can identify them!

Return to Butternut Lake with the newest from Mary McNear, whose heartfelt and powerful stories have made her a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Here, the complicated bonds of sisterhood are tested, long-kept secrets are revealed, and love is discovered…all during one unforgettable summer at the lake.

Two sisters couldn’t be more different. Win organized and responsible; Poppy impulsive and undependable. Win treads cautiously and plans her life with care; Poppy bounces from job to job and apartment to apartment, leaving others to pick up the pieces. But despite their differences, they share memories of the idyllic childhood summers they spent together on the shores of Butternut Lake. Now, 13 years later, Win, recovering from a personal tragedy, has returned to Butternut Lake, settling into a predictable and quiet life. 

Then, one night, Poppy unexpectedly shows up on Win’s doorstep with all her worldly possessions and a mysterious man in tow. And although Win loves her beautiful sister, she wasn’t expecting her to move in for the summer. Still, at first, they relive the joys of Butternut Lake. But their blissful nostalgia soon gives way to conflict, and painful memories and buried secrets threaten to tear the sisters apart. 

As the waning days of summer get shorter, past secrets are revealed, new love is found, and the ties between the sisters are tested like never before…all on the serene shores of Butternut Lake.