“No, it is not only our fate but our business to lose innocence, and once we have lost that, it is futile to attempt a picnic in Eden.” –Elizabeth Bowen
Picnic in Eden
An eBook by Martha Moffett
A suspense story: Molly meets a young man, Fielding Graves, in Manhattan and is so struck by his physical beauty that she takes him home, feeds him soup, launders his jeans, lends him her father’s razor – and marries him.
Her father owns an apple orchard, where they play at being farmers. They are in love, have a child, and the orchard is their Eden.
He’s a drifter, though, and before long, he loses interest and disappears.
Molly has no skills and she is without resources, except for her rent-controlled Manhattan apartment, which, her new friend, smooth-talking art dealer Magnus, tells her, can be her salvation.
It would be a perfect showplace for him to bring his clients to privately view fine art. He’ll pay her and there are no risks. All she has to do, he says, is put out the sherry.
Except there are risks, and Molly has no idea what the dangers are–until she’s the one holding the gun.
Interview with Martha Moffett:
Q: How did you get the idea for your story?
A: It’s based on a real situation. When I was a single mother in Manhattan, my daughter would have play dates with the son of another single mother. It was curious. When it was her turn to take the children, she’d take them to the museum or a movie, because of “insurance problems.” Once I was at the front door of her Fifth Avenue apartment, and I glanced inside and saw magnificent paintings. I looked puzzled, and she said, “How do you think I can live on Fifth Avenue and send my child to private school? Galleries pay me to hang paintings here so that their clients can see how they look in a home setting.”
I understood then about the “insurance problems.” She mentioned that some people who came seemed to be looking at the paintings, while others seemed to be counting them and looking around the house.
Q: What is Molly’s struggle?
A: She had to be resourceful, protect her child, save her house and deal with crooked people.
Molly finds her strength. She was very young. The others were realists. But she caught on to the con, which had become predictable.
She and her friends used to talk about what they would do if the Awful Occasion ever confronted them and Molly always wondered if she could rise to the occasion. She finds that she can, when she grabs the gun.
Q: As the writer, were you in any way surprised by how your story progressed?
A: Molly’s husband comes back into the story. I wasn’t going to write it that way. But he became a strong attraction, and I thought the reader would want to know more about him, would want to see him, because he was so beautiful. So, one morning, before dawn, she wakes up, and….
Molly, you see, is the kind of woman who thinks people should have a second chance and it’s never too late to start over.
When she loses her innocence, though, what she sees is the open-endedness of life and she begins to understand the principle of hope. Eden, in fact, was only a way-station; like moving from childhood to adult, she is on her way from one stage of life to the next.
About the Author:
Martha Moffett is a self-described word-on-the-page writer. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Cosmopolitan. Martha’s many publications include A FLOWER POT IS NOT A HAT, THE COMMON GARDEN, KEEPAWAY, and DEAD ROCK SINGER. She left her much-loved New York City to retreat to what she calls the Greenwich Village of Palm Beach County: Lake Worth, Florida. It just might be Martha’s little corner of Eden.
Link to PICNIC IN EDEN on Amazon: “http://amzn.to/Us6phP”