There’s no shortage of inspiration on the Main Line and local authors have taken those observations and experiences and turned them into books. According to the Global Book Map, at least 106 books mention or are set in Montgomery County. An additional 21 books are located in Chester County and 23 from Delaware County. Whether looking for a new great read or just a way to explore the Main Line’s neighborhoods, here are six books by and about Main Line residents. Maybe you’ll recognize some details.
1. One More Day by Kelly Simmons
One More Day’s Carrie Morgan leads a typical life, until one unthinkable moment alters her world. When her baby disappears outside of a Starbucks and then reappears 15 months later, the gossip flows and Carrie has to figure out what happened. Simmons, a professor at Drexel University, lives in Philadelphia but spent years on the Main Line and in Chadds Ford. Her search to put everything in order will have you turning the pages all night.
2. The One That Got Away by Leigh Himes
The Main Line might be glamorous, but you always tell your out-of-town friends that you’re from Philadelphia. Written by a Havertown resident, The One That Got Away follows a suburban mom/publicist who transforms into a socialite following a fall down the mall escalator. Cathy Fiebach, owner of Main Point Books in Wayne says, “I would take this to the beach with a cold drink, enjoy all of the Philadelphia descriptions and at the end of the day appreciate my family more than when I started.” Sounds like an interesting foray into this fictional world to us.
3. This Is The Story of You by Beth Kephart
Young adult readers will adore this National Book Award finalist. Hand him or her This Is The Story of You and they’ll disappear for the weekend, hanging out with the book’s 17-year-old heroine, Mira, where she faces Hurricane Sandy alone on her New Jersey island home. Author Beth Kephart is a Radnor resident who has written many other books. “Many a Main Line kid will recognize the locations and feelings described in this book,” Fiebach says.
4. Dreams and Nightmares/Sueños y Pesadillas: I Fled Alone to the United States When I Was Fourteen by Liliana Velásquez
Of the authors on this list, 19-year-old Liliana Velásquez has probably traveled the farthest to get to the Main Line. Her book, Dreams and Nightmares/Sueños y Pesadillas, chronicles her journey from Guatemala to the United States border and eventually to Wynnewood. Written side by side in English and Spanish, Velásquez’s true story is one of suffering and determination. “We had an event for her last month and we were packed to overflowing,” Ellen Trachtenberg, owner of Narberth Bookshop says. “She is truly remarkable.”
5. Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton
Travel across the river and back in time with Lilli De Jong. Set in Germantown and Fishtown in 1883, the novel follows its protagonist Lilli through her life as an unmarried and pregnant Quaker woman. Even when you’re not devouring the Philadelphia descriptions, the harrowing stories of Lilli’s struggle to keep her child will keep you occupied. The author lives in Philadelphia and will visit Narberth Bookshop on July 6 at 7 p.m.
6. Rock Paper Scissors by Matty Dalrymple
Lizzy Ballard lives in Parkesburg in Chester County, but hopefully the similarities between Main Liners and her end right there. Lizzy can cause strokes—literally. In Rock Paper Scissors, Matty Dalrymple takes readers to 30th Street Station and Longwood Gardens as Lizzy races to escape her enemies. “The draw for people who have a relationship to the location is a fun guessing game the familiar settings provide,” says Dalrymple, a Chester County resident whose two other novels are also set there.