Emilie Loring got the idea for Here Comes the Sun! while riding on a train. She recalled:
The engine shrieked a warning. Porters shouted “All aboard!” As the train shivered into action a black cocker spaniel jumped from the baggage-car. Long ears flopping, red tongue hanging, the blue tag at his collar flapping, he dashed into a trail which zig-zagged up the mountainside. As I watched the run-away, “Here Comes the Sun!” began to take shape. I visualized a lovely girl running after the dog and a young man in pursuit of both. The incident occurred several years ago. Last winter I began the novel. It was to be a love-story, of course—devoutly I believe in the appeal of love-stories…
She was right about its appeal.
“This opens like the popping of a bunch of firecrackers and sparkles along through the whole plot. An excellently entertaining story.” (New York Herald-Sun)
Here Comes the Sun! is one of my favorites, with all of the qualities that I love in Emilie Loring’s books—characters, places and events that leap from the page and come to life in imagination. Julie Lorraine is independent and adventurous:
She was passionately grateful to him for his help but he must be made to understand that her gratitude did not carry with it a right-of-way across her independence.
The air was heady with vitality, rich with that “Open sesame!” quality which made one sure that one had but to knock imperatively at any obstinately closed door to swing it open.
She loves “frillies” but also swims, climbs trees, drives boats and cars, and has a vibrant sense of purpose.
“I am looking for the romance of business, of politics, for the dragon-slayers, the imprisoned princesses, the sleeping beauties, the wicked dragons, the fairy-god-mothers of real life…”
Julie’s love interest is Jim Trafford–a gentleman, an honest politician, and a romantic, leading man.
“Keep on feeling secure with Billy and me. We’ll stand guard over the Sleeping Beauty till her Prince Charming arrives.”
“I can’t! I think of it all the ti—”… Trafford caught her close with an exultant laugh. “Do you, my Sleeping Beauty? Then put this memory with it!”. . . “I won’t speak to you again until you apologize for that.” Trafford’s eyes and voice were recklessly triumphant. “Must a man apologize when he kisses his wife? This one won’t. I shall do it again at the first opportunity.”
Trafford inspired the book’s British title, The Dragon Slayer, but Emilie’s American publisher thought that sounded too grim. Instead, he suggested a title inspired by Julie: Here Comes the Sun!
Emilie Loring really came into her own in this second novel, writing of places and people she knew well. She was returning from Blue Hill that day on the train, and the details fell naturally into place. Brick House, defunct copper mines, the inner and outer bays, and an island picnic spot… all were real.
Before it reached the bay the water churned into white falls and tumbled under a low bridge across which the road lazed… Costly summer homes, more or less architecturally fit for their surroundings, adorned or disfigured every point and curve of the inner bay which was partially separated from the outer by a disjointed peninsula of rocks and sand and glittering tide-pools. In the inner harbor boats of all types and sizes swung at their moorings. Here Comes the Sun!
A real treat in Blue Hill is to watch the reversing falls. These are the same that Julie defiantly “shoots” in her boat, the “Easy Money.” As the tide comes in, it raises the level of the Salt Pond. When the tide goes out, the pond empties the extra volume back into Blue Hill Bay. For a brief moment, there are standing waves as the current changes directions, and local kayakers try to perch on top of them. That’s pretty tricky, though. The falls are not steep, but they can be treacherous, so most people watch from the shore.
Flowing toward the Salt Pond
Flowing toward the Bay
I go to see the reversing falls every year. They are endlessly fascinating, especially if you keep scenes from Here Comes the Sun! in mind. I wonder if Emilie had just been there herself when she rode the train from Blue Hill back to Boston.
Join me in re-reading all of Emilie’s books in order, one each week.
Next up: A Certain Crossroad