Forever Amber

The other day I told you about a website where you can look up the #1 NYT bestseller from your birthday.  Mine was THE SOURCE by James Michener, my mother’s FOREVER AMBER by Kathleen Winsor.  I ordered the latter from  It arrived in today’s mail — all 972 pages of it.  If you think this sounds long, it’s apparently nothing compared to the original draft submitted to the editor which was 5 times longer.  Five times!!

FOREVER AMBER was published in 1944 and sold 100,000 copies in the first week.  It outsold almost every other book of the 1940’s.  Some claim it was the first real “bodice-ripper.”  Its many blatant sexual references got it banned in Boston and condemned by the Catholic Church (both of which fueled sales to make it a best-seller), though the author claimed she did not intend this, nor did she find her work in any way overtly sexual.  I’m lovin’ her.

The edition that arrived in today’s mail has a foreword by Barbara Taylor Bradford — whom my mother, in the weeks before she died, listed as her favorite author.

Funny how books come to you.

8 thoughts on “Forever Amber

  1. amyg

    (first, i am very sorry about your mother’s passing. i don’t know how long ago it was, but please accept my condolences.)

    i love when things connect like that…from your mom to the bestseller to barbara taylor bradford and then back to your mom.

    i had a moment this week that i’ve been trying to figure out how to craft into a post, but it may fit here better. i’ve been reading and thinking about scarcity and what it means in my life and the idea that there actual are enough resources within our universe for our wants and needs and that scarcity is a perception and not necessarily a reality. you know, your usual existential meanderings while driving to work. anyway, i’ve been trying to work with the idea that whatever it is we need—we already have it. it’s all within us.

    and then, this morning, i’m getting ready for work and i slide on a pair of shoes that i’ve been wearing all week…they’re these red patent leather wedges with a cork heel. they’re red, red. and i thought what’s up with these shoes? why do i keep wearing them? and it hit me. they’re my ruby slippers, i was my own Wizard of Oz trying to give myself a sign, that whole, “you’ve always had it in you all along” thing.

    1. Teri Post author

      Oh god Amy, I had a similar thing happen last week, red-shoes-wise. I think the universe is always talking to me, nudging me. I just need to pay better attention!

      And thank you. My mother died 9 years ago. It sure doesn’t seem like that long, but most days (like today?) I still feel that her too-early departure has left me unmoored. Which is one of the many reasons I liked your posts about your father these last weeks.

  2. MacDougal Street Baby

    You’ve got a little bit of Nancy Drew in you at the moment. One door opening to another. Where will this new information lead you? I appreciate connections. They make me smile. So, I looked up Barbara Taylor Bradford on the computer to see who she is and read a little bit about her bio. Apparently she writes with her two dogs underneath her desk. That’s funny to me because I’m reading Stephen King’s book, “On Writing” and on the front cover is a picture of him writing at his desk with his dog at his side. Oh, weird. I just finished, “A Dog’s Purpose,” by W. Bruce Cameron. Like I said, these things make me smile.

  3. Downith

    My connection is that this month’s edition of Mslexia (writing magazine) arrived last Saturday. The last page is “Bedside Table” where people talk about what they’re reading and this month it is Barbara Taylor Bradford. I’m interested that she wrote the introduction to Forever Amber, because her concluding sentence is:

    “Maybe I am just a nice English woman at heart who wants normal sex [ in a book] and not something fancy with any swinging from the chandelier.” LOL.

    And, our bookshelves hold many old books that used to belong to my husband’s grandmother. A copy of Forever Amber (1944) is there. Let me know how you find it, Teri.

  4. Teri Post author

    I wrote this post thinking, “This is just a little nothing…” yet, as I read all of your comments, it certainly didn’t end up that way. And Downith, I love hearing that your husband’s grandmother had the book — and kept it. 😉

  5. lisahgolden

    When I saw the title, I though you were going to write about the Otto Preminger movie. Duh. I should have guessed that the movie was based on a book! Ring Lardner wrote the sceenplay (thank you, IMB).

    My mother counts Barbara Taylor Bradford as one of her favorite authors. She was often seen with a BTB book open on her chest while she slept. I’d bet she’s read her whole collection.

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