My debut novel is finally here!
"In this epic tale, Mary Smathers captures the grand sweep of California history from the arrival of the Spanish to 21st-century Silicon Valley through the bloodline of a single family. Secrets interweave with ambition, passion, betrayal, and upheaval as we follow the trail of Spanish, Franciscan, Mexican, and Californio settlement of a land that housed native peoples for thousands of years.
Who are the saints, who the sinners, and the question of how we repair ourselves pulses throughout this story. You’ll ache for some of these people, loathe others, and be left with much to ponder on the complexities of love, culture, and family. And then you'll want to read a sequel."
--Larry Habegger, Executive Editor, Travelers’ Tales
At your local bookstore now!
A Family Saga through California’s Rich History…
When twenty something Nicole stumbles on DNA reports that document an ancestry far different than her father’s narrative of a white, northern European background, she enlists the help of her great grandmother to investigate their roots. As she and Great Gram ignore her father’s protests and search for documents in the attic of an historic San Francisco Victorian, the family’s actual history unfolds.
Their true Californio ancestors include a Spanish soldier in the Portola expedition to explore Alta California, a captured Ohlone native and a girl whose family walks with the De Anza settlers almost two thousand miles north from Sinaloa to the San Francisco Bay. Nicole slowly unravels the mysteries of her two hundred and fifty year family tree, from California’s native inhabitants and its earliest European colonizers through the generations to the Gold Rush.
How does her origin story unfold after the arrival of those Spanish explorers? Can she and Great Gram find evidence of their true family tree and use it to protect the old house from being sold off? Can Nicole find common ground and reconcile with her father in the process? In This Land of Plenty’s family saga introduces the diverse cast of characters and complex social issues that populate California’s rich history while drawing a direct line to today’s residents.