June 22, 2018
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Third book released in ‘Pink Chimneys’ series

"Havener Sisters," by Ardeana Hamlin
By Sarah Walker Caron, BDN Senior Editor

When Ardeana Hamlin wrote “Pink Chimneys,” in the 1980s, she didn’t anticipate how readers would fall in love with the story of three strong-willed women in 19th century Maine — and want more.

But that’s exactly what happened.

“After I published ‘Pink Chimneys’ in [1987], I never expected it would go on and on and it would have this life,” Hamlin said.

Fans wanted a sequel and didn’t hesitate to tell her.

“Abbott’s Reach,” the sequel, was released in 2011.

Now readers have a chance to dig into more of Hamlin’s well-researched historical fiction in a new book that’s the third in the series. “The Havener Sisters” explores the fates of three sisters at the dawn of the Industrial Age in Maine.

China, Persia and India Havener are triplets who were raised on their father’s ship, Empress, on the high seas. When their father dies, the sisters begin living in a large house on the shore in Castine. But eight years later, changes in their economic circumstances bring challenges and adventures.

Similar to Hamlin’s previous books, this period novel took much research.

“When I wrote ‘Pink Chimneys,’ I researched for two years before I knew I would be writing a book,” Hamlin said.

That research laid the foundation for her other books, though additional research was necessary for each. For this book, she looked at images, town layouts and more to get a historic sense of the places she was writing about so she knew “how my characters were going to move in those landscapes.”

“This is a book more about inland Maine then about coastal life,” Hamlin said, adding there will be some surprises too. “They will find unexpected things happen.”

Readers may remember the Havener sisters from an earlier book by Hamlin.

“By the time I finished ‘Abbott’s Reach,’ the Havener sisters emerged … [and] I decided they needed a book of their own,” Hamlin said.

Likewise, readers may recognize a few characters from previous books in peripheral characters in “The Havener Sisters.”

For Hamlin, the process of writing a book has changed a lot since she first wrote “Pink Chimneys,” at least in terms of technology. Back then, she wrote longhand on pads of paper and then transcribed the story on a portable typewriter. These days, she works on a laptop, which she says makes for easier editing because moving bits around — or deleting them — are just a few keystrokes away.

Still, at its crux, Hamlin says her writing process remains largely the same as it always has been.

“Basically, the way I go at things hasn’t changed — it’s all very intuitive,” Hamlin said.

A book launch party will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, at the Hampden Town Hall, 106 Western Ave. in Hampden. She also will be signing books from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Penobscot Marine Museum and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Islandport books kiosk at the Bangor Mall.

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