This biography of Muriel Wylie Blanchet typifies what F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about life, ... that "the invented parts are best." The biographer did a great job of filling in the facts of Blanchet's life and of sharing visits to milestone locations from "The Curve of Time," comparing those locations and how they've changed over time, but Blanchet's obvious talent for invention and the reasons for it, which are the source of a reader's fascination, perhaps should have been explored more thoroughly. I was grateful that someone had taken on this biography and I fully expected that the facts of Blanchet's life would not match the myterious charm that leaps from the page of her classic book; how could this be, after all? She created art to sustain her family through sales of her writing to magazines, but also I suspect to express her life's experiences in a way that recreated herself and her memories as she wanted them to be understood. She had a flair for drama and mystery, which was probably both a blessing and a curse. I'll bet she felt misunderstood and convinced herself she did not care if she was.
I was not surprised that she was regarded as eccentric and difficult or that her children were not all reliably enamored of their childhood adventures as the reader who chooses this book becomes. Far from being disappointed, however, that all was not rosey in Ms. Blanchet's world and that her life did not replicate the contained charm of her book, I was again reminded how much of a person's life, especially to their interior selves, is an invention to sustain a dream. A dream of connection somehow with where one truly belongs and the expression of that constant interior dialogue brings writers and artists and inventors to leave behind a gift to us all.
Thank you, Ms. Converse, for all your hard work and for your love for the sea and small boats that you so obviously share with your subject.