The Girls Across the Bay Author Commentary
Chapter 3: Setting the Scene
The first time my two protagonists, Madigan and Grace, come together in the first book of the series is Chapter 3.
Their relationship dynamics may seem complicated to a reader in the beginning. Sisters by choice, not blood. Women who shared a traumatic past, including a separation before their teen years, but remained in each other’s lives nonetheless. The chapter begins…
Their special spot on the coast in the small town of Tall Pines came to me all at once. The place from which they could see the neighboring city, Amherst, from across the bay. Their own prison, or so it felt…
What better setting to introduce these women? Here, they reflect on their past. The trauma, separation, and emotions . They also discuss recent events, and an underlying apprehension to tell each other the full truth gives an inkling of the affects of their separation during the year Grace worked undercover.
Even so, this chapter serves as a new beginning.
They reunite in Tall Pines, the town they dreamed of living in as children. After Grace’s demotion, left feeling vulnerable and alone, she purchases a small, cottage-like home, minutes from their special spot. My inspiration for her white beach house came on a walk with my dogs, passing a beautiful house in a nearby neighborhood that I still visit on occasion.
Together again, and with time to revisit the past, their individual points of view in this chapter regarding what happened to them and the people who hurt them showcase some of the main differences in their personalities.
Their differing points of view came naturally as I wrote this scene, but it also became clear that together, they could use their individual strengths to become something stronger. It was how they got through their time in the same foster home, and I knew it was how they would get through as adults.
I didn’t anticipate how they would both get in their own way, and that it wouldn’t be until the book I’m currently writing, Book 3, The Lies You Told, that they would finally use their skills together in a way they had only experimented with in the first 2 books.
This chapter also introduces the inciting event, the beginning of the central mystery…
Grace and Madigan knew the cycle of abuse only too well, and through the rest of the book, their past and present relationships are explored, both as a team and separately. The foundation of trust is both cracked and rebuilt.
But one thing remains. The bond they share.
I have a sister who is my best friend, too. I’m so grateful to have such a supportive, encouraging, and strong relationship with her, filled with humor, respect, and trust. I know that not everyone has this kind of relationship with a family member, but they might with someone else. Family by choice. All relationships are valid and it’s a great adventure to explore the bond Madigan and Grace share, and their journey together.
Thank you for joining me on this deep dive into the third chapter of The Girls Across the Bay.