Under the Almond Trees is about three ordinary women in California who lived
extraordinary lives. It started with a falling tree branch that killed Ellen VanValkenburgh’s husband in 1862, forcing her to assume leadership of his paper mill, something women weren’t allowed to do. Women weren’t allowed to vote yet, either. Ellen decided that had to change. In 1901, Emily Williams , Ellen’s daughter-in-law, became an architect – very much against her family’s wishes. No one would hire a woman, but Emily would not be deterred. She and her life partner Lillian set out to build homes themselves. By the 1930’s women enjoyed more freedom, including the vote. Ellen’s granddaughter Eva VanValkenburgh, though, wants only a traditional life of marriage and children, giving up her photography business and risking her role models' disappointment.
“A beautifully written, captivating story, Under the Almond Trees eloquently writes a
powerful recounting of three generations of strong women in the author’s family who took
strides to change the way we look at women today.” Susan Stec, USA Today Bestselling