For a writer, the Pacific Northwest evokes all things mysterious and mystical, with its silver light and damp dark, its towering trees and deep water. When Jeff Ingram went missing from Olympia, WA in 2006, it was a complete mystery for his fiancée, Penny, who wouldn’t hear from him for six weeks, and when she did, he no longer knew who she was.
What struck novelist Jennie Shortridge about this news story, beyond the obvious dilemma of amnesia in a partner, was how the couple got back together, married, and stayed together, despite the odds.
She decided to write that story as a fictional novel: Love Water Memory, from sister company Simon & Schuster. She felt drawn to the water, and to characters of her own making. Here’s a look at her journey through the Seattle area.
Related: Best Book Clubs In Seattle
Birth Of A Novel
Love Water Memory began with a story in the Seattle Times. The headline, alone, was fascinating and heart tugging: “His memory fails him, but his heart won’t forget.” As I read Jeff and Penny Ingram’s story, I was so touched by their recommitment to each other, but I was also intrigued by the mystery. The amnesia was a rare form caused by emotional trauma. What happened to make Jeff lose his memory?
Aquatic Park Cove
499 Jefferson Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Like Jeff, my amnesiac character Lucie is found far from her Washington home. I decided it would be San Francisco. Luckily for me, my friend Tim Mooney is an extreme swimmer, and he pointed me to Aquatic Park, where he and his club regularly swim to Alcatraz in the cold waters of San Francisco Bay. This is where Lucie “wakes up” at the beginning of the book.
Related: Best Murals In Seattle
Waterfront, Seattle, WA
When Lucie’s fiancé comes to get her from San Francisco, she learns she’s from Seattle, another great city on the water. Here it is in all its splendor, complete with the new Seattle Great Wheel. It’s a great way to see all of Elliott Bay, second only to the view from the Space Needle.
Eva Restaurant and Wine Bar
2227 N 56th St
Seattle, WA 98103
As Lucie and Grady readjust to life together, they attempt a date at their previous favorite restaurant, called “Belle” in the book. It is actually Eva, a lovely and romantic place for date night.
Related: Best Language Classes In Seattle
Tulalip Indian Reservation
3015 Mission Beach Rd
Tulalip, WA 98271
As Lucie unravels the mystery of her life, she finds connections on the Tulalip Indian Reservation, where her only living relative, Aunt Helen, lives. This gorgeous wooded area is largely pristine, and the homes are mostly modest. Here is Tulalip Bay, still a great resource for salmon fishing.
7201 Greenlake Drive N
Seattle WA 98115
Love Water Memory begins in water and it ends in water, here at Seattle’s Green Lake, one of my favorite city walks (and swims!)
While writing her fifth novel, Love Water Memory, Seattle writer Jennie Shortridge looked to true events in the Pacific Northwest to guide her through a tale of memories and lives lost and found. Inspired by the 2006 news story of Jeff and Penny Ingram of Olympia, WA, Shortridge recreated a couple who were also parted by amnesia, and their own journey back to each other and themselves. As she did her research, the author snapped photos of the Seattle area to guide her, and she shares them here.
Reprinted with permission of Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. All photographs are copyright of the author.
For more information on Love Water Memory or other books from Gallery Books, sign up for Simon & Schuster’s newsletters and you could get a free eBook!