"...And She Smiled, Because She Knew..."


This is a true story. It is a poorly disguised portrait of the author's own life, and her love for her husband Axel, even as it depicts the life story of her maternal grandmother Emily McAlpin. It began in 1913 at a gala evening party at the home of a prominent family in Trenton, New Jersey. Emily was close to middle age, a woman of stunning beauty and charm and with a disarming wit and intelligence. When her host introduced the guest of honor, the current of a force so far unknown to her embraced her mind and body. Alexander, a writer by profession, looked at her, and she knew… Two adult, married persons fell instantly in love without preliminaries, without courting, without compromise. At that moment the fifty or so other guests seemed to vanish. Time stopped. Facing scandal, family disgrace, social ostracism, they fled to what was a less hostile environment in Europe. The advent of World War I changed life for them as it did for the rest of the world. It was many years before Emily could finally divulge her story to her young granddaughter, little knowing that the child would cherish her words, and 38 years later, through the events of her own life, bring Emily's story to a happy ending.

Margaret Ridgely Bergenstjerna

(2004, 2005), 2016, 5½x8½, paper, 296 pp.

ISBN: 9780788434501