Tammy Robinson Smith
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“The Women of the Ivy Creek Sewing Circle”

November is the month of the year when thankfulness is foremost in our minds. As I reflect on my life, one of the things I am most thankful for is the women in my life who have helped me through the bad times and rejoiced with me in the good.

Both of my grandmothers died before I was born, however, during my childhood I don’t think I fully felt their absence in my life because there were other women who filled that role for me. There was Mamaw Bernard who lived up the street. Mamaw Ketron who babysat for me the rare times I required one. There were my mother’s older sisters who tended to me much as I imagined a grandmother would and there were the vivid memories of my grandmothers that my mom instilled in me through her stories about them. So, although I missed out on the experience of having a grandmother, I never felt deprived of the influence of older, wiser women in my life. As I reflect on my life, I realize that the comfort of my female friends has been a source of emotional nourishment for me. I have seen this pattern repeat throughout elementary school, high school, college, career, motherhood and now in the sweetest stage of my life during my turn as a grandmother of two delightful granddaughters. At each juncture of my life, it is my female friends who I have turned to for advice, support, and oftentimes to vent and complain in a judgment free zone.

It is with this community of women in mind that I wrote The Ivy Creek Sewing Circle. Two themes run throughout my novel. The theme of a young girl learning to navigate the good and bad times of her life by watching and listening to the women in her mother’s sewing circle and the theme of a group of women who come together to support one of their own when she and her family face a devastating life event. At first glance, readers may think The Ivy Creek Sewing Circle is a light-hearted tale of a young girl’s adventures, but it isn’t and wasn’t written that way.

I wrote this novel to show the power of female connections and how they can influence youngerversions of ourselves as well as uphold us as fully grown women. It is an influence I hold dear in my life and celebrate in my writing. And, it is a celebration of the connections that sustain us through each season of our lives. These connections are always at the top of my list of things I am grateful for during this month and each day that follows.

May your Thanksgiving be one of bountiful blessings,