An accessible woman

She will be my role-model from this time forward: a woman of grace and humor. While I have not (yet) read a word of any of her books, I am a fan. She is Louise Penny.

I attended Ms. Penny’s book signing at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, CA last evening (August 27, 2015) at the urging of my friends – all devote Penny-philes. While her novels have been on my radar for some time, I suffer from a lovers’ malady: too many books and not enough time. That is my excuse – which I will use no longer when it comes to Ms. Penny.

Although her time at Kepler’s podium was spent talking about herself and her experiences as a writer, her focus was more about the audience: what did we want to know about her, how could she make the experience more enjoyable for us, what were the questions most on our minds. She was generous with genuine praise for the encouragement and loyalty of the 300 who sat before her. She was one of the most gracious women I’ve ever heard speak.

I don’t know if I will enjoy her books – but I suspect I will, given the enthusiasm of my friends.

What I do know is that I already enjoy the woman: she is poised, self-effacing without any self-deprecation, witty, and personable. She is forthright about her history and her struggles and her loves. She might have been speaking to three people instead of three hundred. No snobbery, no affectation. A joy.

If her books are as honest and accessible as the writer herself, then I will love them.

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About Lori Hart Beninger

Lori Hart Beninger is a native California writer with three critically acclaimed historical novels (Embracing the Elephant, A Veil of Fog and Flames, and A Peculiar Peace) that follow two 19th century young adults as they struggle with survival and acceptance in the pivotal era of the California Gold Rush up to the American Civil War. Please visit for synopses, availability, reviews, and more.
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