What was the inspiration for your recent novel, “The Wentworth Legacy”?

I’ve been asked a few times about my inspiration for “The Wentworth Legacy” and so here it is.

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When we moved to Long Island in 1971, I was exposed to the life of the old money. My mother-in-law had remarried after her husband died to a member of what I considered the upper class of the North Shore of Long Island. As such, I was lucky to see some of the homes of the wealthy families of the North Shore which somehow got into the pages of my book. I came to dine at Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley and Colony Club in New York, both are exclusive country clubs for the old money. No, my husband and I were not members of those clubs although he was a member of the Knickerbocker Club in New York. My mother-in-law was a member of both Piping Rock and Colony.

I saw and heard stories about the life above and below stairs from people around me. It was both fascinating and intimidating at first but as the years went on, I learned to be comfortable with the new aspect of my married life. It was a far cry from where I came from – a small town in the Philippines.

We are often asked if we are related to J.P. Morgan. We are not. My husband said they came on different boats. People often wondered why my husband knew so many old money in the community. My husband’s parents were not rich although I sensed his grandmother was. They were comfortable but their social standing was far above most of the people I knew.

So, the idea of writing a book about the old money came from being around some of them. This time, the North Shore in “The Wentworth Legacy”, next time, the South Shore in “?????”. Stay tuned.

 

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