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Julie Gerstenblatt | Three Diverse Women’s Lives Intersect

Daughters of Nantucket
Julie Gerstenblatt




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March 2023
On Sale: March 14, 2023
Featuring: Eliza Macy; Maria Mitchell
352 pages
ISBN: 0778333426
EAN: 9780778333425
Kindle: B09ZPP26TN
Trade Paperback / e-Book
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Also by Julie Gerstenblatt:
Daughters of Nantucket, March 2023
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1--What is the title of your latest release?


2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

Three diverse women’s lives intersect in the days leading up to Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

I wanted to set it around this particular historic event, so July, 1846 on the island of Nantucket, MA had to be it!

4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?

There are three main characters, and yes, I would hang out with them all.  Although some are nicer than others.

5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?

Eliza is stubborn, desperate, and passionate; Maria is intelligent, thoughtful, and a leader; and Meg is warm, hopeful, and driven

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

That it can be really interesting to write from multiple points of view…and also quite fun to write around a looming disaster!

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

I edit a bit as I go, although I don’t let it stop me from moving forward with new writing every day. I’m not super critical of my work until I hit the revision stage, but I can’t just leave something the way it is if I know isn’t working on the page. I begin every day by reading over the pages from the day before as a way to “warm up” and get ready for the next scene.

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

Baked goods from fancy bakeries. I try to find a favorite bakery in every place I visit, and certainly have a few faves in every place I’ve ever lived. I am currently obsessed with these apple turnover puff pastries from Madrid Bakery in Providence RI, near my home.

9--Describe your writing space/office!

I have a really beautiful home office that connects my main house to the garage and has high, wood-paneled ceilings and a skylight. It looks like a hayloft. I use it for writing, yoga, and for meetings with the students I tutor.  It also has a great couch for reading (and naps!) that folds out for company.  I basically convinced my husband that we had to buy the house because I imagined myself writing a novel in that room.

10--Who is an author you admire?

There are so, so many!  But I’ll go with Bonnie Garmus.  Lessons in Chemistry was one of my favorite books from last year, and I love that, like me, she became a debut author later in life.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

I would have to say Ahab’s Wife by Sensa Jeter Naslund, because the book gave me courage to write my own historical Nantucket-based tale.

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.

Oh, wow. Okay.  So.  It was a dark and stormy morning.  Really!  My agent and I had been out on this round of submissions for about a week, and I was hopeful for a bite, but knew it could take time to hear back.  So, I was sitting around and reading, but when the power in the house went out from the rain and wind, I decided to take a nap on the couch.  It was probably 11 am.  About an hour later, I heard the house sort of power back on, an electric hum, and the lights came back on and the TV cable box clicked, and I stretched and went over to check my computer…and there was this email from my agent with the subject line: Can I call you?  That’s all.  No message in the body of the email.  And, just as I was starting to type back YES, she called my cell and told me we got an offer from Mira, an imprint of HarperCollins.

13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

I love both contemporary and historical fiction, and I like to switch back and forth between a “now” book and a “then” book.  I read a bit of nonfiction and memoir, but not nearly as much as I do fiction.  I also like a good dystopian tale now and then, as well as some YA.  I believe in a balanced reading diet.

14--What’s your favorite movie?

Can’t possibly pick one.  Grease, Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and 16 Candles all have a piece of my heart.  (I just gave away my age there.)  And I love high-brow Oscar films too, but at my core, I’m a fan of 80’s films and rom-coms.

15--What is your favorite season?

Summer.  It’s when three out of the 4 of my immediate family celebrate their birthdays, and it’s also when I get to go to Nantucket.  I live in coastal Rhode Island, which comes alive in summertime too.

16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

By going to the beach and seeing friends and family and enjoying a lobster roll -- and maybe seeing some fireworks! My birthday is July 3rd, which means it’s always part of a holiday weekend.

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

Emily in Paris.  The clothing!  The singing!  The romance!  Paris!

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Italian – especially a really good, wood-fired thin and crispy pizza with little rounds of pepperoni, and homemade pasta, a crisp Caesar salad, and a nice glass (or two) of wine.

19--What do you do when you have free time?

Read and shop in equal measure – these are my sports!

20--What can readers expect from you next?

A second installment in the Nantucket series, in which a new character, Nell Starbuck, goes off on a global shopping trip to China with her merchant husband and their grown daughter. Let’s just say there will be many adventures and calamity will ensue.  Several characters from Daughters of Nantucket will appear – including one of my favorites – although it will work as a stand-alone story.

DAUGHTERS OF NANTUCKET by Julie Gerstenblatt

Daughters of Nantucket

Nantucket in 1846 is an island set apart not just by its geography but by its unique circumstances. With their menfolk away at sea, often for years at a time, women here know a rare independence—and the challenges that go with it.

Eliza Macy is struggling to conceal her financial trouble as she waits for her whaling captain husband to return from a voyage. In desperation, she turns against her progressive ideals and targets Meg Wright, a pregnant free Black woman trying to relocate her store to Main Street. Meanwhile, astronomer Maria Mitchell loves running Nantucket’s Atheneum and spending her nights observing the stars, yet she fears revealing the secret wishes of her heart.

On a sweltering July night, a massive fire breaks out in town, quickly kindled by the densely packed wooden buildings. With everything they possess now threatened, these three very different women are forced to reevaluate their priorities and decide what to save, what to let go and what kind of life to rebuild from the ashes of the past.


Historical | Non-Fiction Biography [MIRA, On Sale: March 14, 2023, Trade Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780778333425 / eISBN: 9780369732774]

Buy DAUGHTERS OF | Kindle | | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | | Book Depository | | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Julie Gerstenblatt

Julie Gerstenblatt

Julie Gerstenblatt holds a doctorate in education in Curriculum and Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, Grown&Flown, and Cognoscenti, among others. When not writing, Julie is a college essay coach, as well as a producer and on-air host for A Mighty Blaze. A native New Yorker, Julie now lives in coastal Rhode Island with her family and one very smart shichon poo. Daughters of Nantucket is her first novel.





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