FAREWELL MY LIFE is three parts. The first part, THE LOST MOTHER opens in Georgetown in September 1921.
At that time Georgetown was NOT the busy commercial hub that it now is, but rather a quiet charming village. Traditionally a tobacco port, Wisconsin Avenue (High Street) and M Street (Bridge Street) were much quieter.
The fashionable part of Georgetown was west of Wisconsin, and north of P (formerly known as Third and West Streets) where people built large mansions such as Dumbarton Oaks and Tudor Place. This is where Zia Paulina had lived when her husband was alive, and where she brought up her 3 nieces – Josephina, Louisa and Angelina – when they arrived on her doorstep in 1898.
The less fashionable part of Georgetown was East of Wisconsin and south of P in an African-American neighborhood called “Herring Hill.”
This is where the novel opens, in a modest house on O Street (Beall Street) opposite the AME Church.
One of the perks of being a novelist is that you get to set your novels in your favorite places. I love Georgetown and enjoyed my walks around there as it’s only a 30 minute walk from my apartment in DC…