All Posts Tagged With: "Sometimes Mine"
Carrie’s Conversation with Martha Moody
Carrie: What inspired you to write SOMETIMES MINE?
Martha: The germ of the story came from a book group discussion about my first novel, BEST FRIENDS. Some women in the group were very distressed that the narrator, Clare, has an affair with her ex-husband. There are a lot of bad things done by characters in that novel, and I was impressed at the particular anger Clare’s actions evoked. I’m a physician, and I knew that two of my female patients were involved for years with married men. I didn’t see these patients as evil, but as sad and isolated. I thought, “Hmm, it would be a challenge to write about a mistress from her point of view.”
I also wanted to write about work. Genie, the narrator of Sometimes Mine, is a cardiologist and her lover, Mick, is a college basketball coach. Each of them is excellent at what they do, and each is defined and to some extent hidden by their role. Their mutual appreciation of their distinctive work and talents helps bond them. I’ve always liked this quote from the Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer: “With his work, as with a glove, a man feels the universe.”
The third impetus for the novel was a story my social work mother told me when I was a teenager, in the early 70’s. One of her clients was a “maiden lady” who had lived all her life with another woman. When the client’s friend got ill and then died, the client was treated by her friend’s family not as a spouse or grieving widow, but as a simple housemate. This really magnified her loss. That story haunted me for years as an example of the power of society’s norms. In the book, when Mick moves into the realm of the sick, Genie has no defined role.
Carrie: In general, how does an idea for a book come to you–Does it perk slowly in your mind or does it come in a flash?
Martha: I’m a slow perker.
Carrie: Give us an idea of the plot of SOMETIMES MINE without giving too much away.
Martha: SOMETIMES MINE is the story of a long-term affair of a divorced female cardiologist, Genie Toledo, and a married college basketball coach, Mick Crabbe. It tells what happens when Mick gets seriously ill and Genie is forced to confront both Mick’s family and her own illusions.
Carrie: What is the primary message you’d like your readers to take away from SOMETIMES MINE?
Martha: SOMETIMES MINE is a love triangle between three very imperfect people. You’d expect things to turn out badly, but in an odd way each person becomes heroic. I’d like to think of the novel as a plea for accepting the complexity of people’s feelings and lives, and the surprising connections through which a person can gain strength.
Carrie: What is your favorite scene in SOMETIMES MINE? Why?