When twenty-something Nicole Sinclair stumbles on DNA reports that document an ancestry far different from her father’s narrative of a white, northern European background, she enlists the help of her great grandmother to investigate their roots. As they search, their true Californio ancestors come to life. They 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 eighteen hundred miles from Sinaloa to the San Francisco Bay. 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.
Come listen to Mary as she tells us how to write your own family’s story using her book IN THIS LAND OF PLENTY as an example.
Mary Smathers grew up in Los Altos, California and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Latin American Studies. She earned a Master’s degree in Education and another MA in Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University. From 1983 to 2013, she worked in public schools throughout California as a high school teacher, administrator, teacher trainer, grant writer and educational entrepreneur. Since then, she has focused on writing, publishing a collection of short stories and the award winning In This Land of Plenty, a family saga based on California history. She recently published her first children’s book, the first in a bilingual series featuring jungle and ocean animals. She divides her time between the Monterey Peninsula and Costa Rica.
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”Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein