by Kasie West
(Spoiler warning: You should read this bit of insight after reading the Thanksgiving scene in the book. I try not to give anything away, but still…)
Being part of a big family lends itself to many things: hand-me-down clothes, scheduled shower times, answering to siblings’ names (or a combination of all the names put together), and competitive meal times. And the ultimate meal is Thanksgiving. It is the main event —a time to show a big family magnified.
So I knew I wanted this particular holiday in a book that showcased the big family bond. I came from a big family. I’m one of five siblings, my father is one of twelve. My husband is one of six. So you can imagine I know first hand what a crazy Thanksgiving might consist of. I can’t remember the last Thanksgiving I had where less than thirty family members were present. It’s a fun, loud, exciting day full of chaos.
This is Lily’s reality. I also knew I wanted to put her boy (I can’t say his name because that’s a spoiler) in that situation with her. The contrast to his family and the emotions he felt there made it an important scene in the book. Plus, this was the first time they’d be thrown together with her knowing who he was and him not knowing who she was. It was a time for all sorts of tensions to run high. The tension of him being in the midst of the craziness and the tension of her not wanting him to know she was the letter writer—not yet, at least, not like this.