Into every stand alone novel, a little Pink must fall.
I didn’t really set out to put a Pink Carnation descendant into every stand alone. But, somehow, because my world is such an interwoven one, it always seems to turn out that way. There was Val Vaughn in The Ashford Affair, Nicholas Dorrington in That Summer, and Cecelia Heatherington-Vaughn in The Other Daughter.
In stand alone #4 (working title: The French Marriage)? There’s Gabrielle Jaouen.
Some of you may remember Gabrielle as the sulky nine year old daughter of André Jaouen and his first wife, Julie Beniet, in Pink XVII, The Orchid Affair. Towards the end of The Orchid Affair, Eloise can’t resist taking a look into the future of Gabrielle and her brother. Here’s what she discovers:
Gabrielle Jaouen had gone on to become a noted diarist, an advocate for the abolition of slavery and, very late in life, a noisy proponent of the rights of women. She had died in her home in New York in 1893 at the age of ninety-five, leaving behind five husbands, twenty-odd great-grandchildren, and a vast pile of tracts and memoirs.
I wondered what Laura had thought of it all and whether she and Jaouen had had any children of their own. There were fairly easy ways to find out– including tracking down the memoirs of Gabrielle Jaouen de Montfort Adams Morris Belmont van Antwerp– but it was well out of the purview of my current research.
I’ve always been a little curious about the life of Gabrielle Jaouen de Montfort Adams Morris Belmont van Antwerp, but I’d never really believed our paths would cross again. Until I sat down to start writing the story of an American heiress who marries a French nobleman and realized that I was writing about Gabrielle’s granddaughter. Helen Jay is the late life baby of Gabrielle’s daughter, Lavinia Belmont, who marries a robber baron of dubious heritage named Oswald Jay. At loggerheads with her own mother, Helen finds herself looking to her grandmother as a model– with results that Gabrielle would never have predicted or desired.
The book I’m working on is the story of three generations of women: Helen, Aurélie, and Meg. Even though, by the time we get to Meg, we’re looking at several generations removed from Gabrielle, Gabrielle’s life is still creating ripples in the lives of her descendants.
There’s another major Pink descendant in the book– but I’ll tell you about him later!