Marylee MacDonald

Award-winning author and writing coach

To research the novel I'm working on now, I spent weeks in the National Archives in Paris. This giant volume is an address book used during the French Revolution. Each neighborhood had one, and its purpose was to keep track of the citizens who had received identity cards. The Vermillion Sea is about a young artist who goes to Baja California in 1769. You can read more about him on my blog.

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Selected Works

The Rug Bazaar features two stories set in Turkey.
Prize-winning short stories for arm-chair travelers and readers willing to explore the intricacies of the human heart. For more about the book see my "Works" page.
A teenage girl on a family vacation in Mexico thinks she knows how to deal with her father's erratic behavior.
A desperate mother goes to Prague to find her missing son (winner of the American Literary Review Fiction Prize, 2010).
When Mother Gokhale moves in, Leslie Flynn must come to terms with her intercultural marriage.
This story is probably the only one you might consider reading to your kids, but there's a dark undertone, so on second thought, maybe not.
The true story of a fifteen-old girl's journey to motherhood.
A short personal essay about identity, writing, and adoption.

Montpelier Tomorrow

In this novel about a mother who finds herself on the front lines of a war with Fate, the protagonist, Colleen Gallagher, throws herself in the trenches to become a dying man's caregiver, but discovers that even her best efforts can't fix what's wrong.

Montpelier Tomorrow is about a mid-life mom who would do anything to protect her children from harm. Here are some advance reviews for the novel.

An affecting, deeply honest novel; at the same time, a lacerating indictment of our modern health care system.—Kirkus Reviews

A heartrending story of love, loss and the endurance of the human spirit.—Literary Fiction Book Review

An engaging and heartfelt novel about the intricate relationships among family dealing with disease and disability. Characters are vivid, relatable, and all too imperfectly human. An emotional read.
—Jewell Parker Rhodes, author of Douglass’ Women and Ninth Ward

Each time I have reread this fine novel, I have felt rewarded by the connection it offers to the central character, Colleen. She is that kind of character for which the large scale of the novel is made: her external and internal dilemmas have many dimensions; her relationships with other characters are shaped by complex past and present plot tensions; her viewpoint is transformative, that is, it presents the world as she alone perceives it. I can think of no single page in which her voice is not an irreplaceable gift to the reader.
—Kevin McIlvoy, author of The Fifth Station, Little Peg, and Hyssop

In her novel Montpelier Tomorrow, Marylee MacDonald illuminates a seemingly dark, hopeless story with light, humor, and compassion. In the aftermath of her son-in-law's devastating diagnosis, Colleen Gallagher becomes increasingly driven to save her daughter and grandchildren even as she struggles to forge a life of her own. Montpelier Tomorrow is at once an engrossing account of the impossible choices faced by caregivers in the United States and a moving portrait of one close-knit, memorable family.
—Katherine Shonk, author of The Red Passport and Happy Now?