Hope Andersen is a graduate of Wellesley College (B.A) and Yale Divinity School (M.A.R.). She wrote her first novel at the age of 60. In her early career as a writer, she studied fiction writing with Andre Dubus and poetry with Derek Walcott, and published both stories and poems. She was awarded the Wellesley College Playwriting Award for her one-act play Room, which was produced at the Lyric Stage, Boston. Ms. Andersen served as a teaching assistant for George Garrett at the Stone Coast Writer’s Conference in Maine. She has worked intermittently over the years as a newspaper critic, a ghostwriter, an editor, a teacher, and a screenwriter. A native New Englander, she now lives in North Carolina with her husband Thom.
Andersen's novel, The Book Sisters, is a family saga, told in vignettes, that chronicles the lives of Vern Book, an alcoholic farmer; Valley Book, the depressed mother; and the six Book sisters – Victoria, Veronica, Violet, Vera, Virginia, and Viveca. After his horrific experiences during World War II, Vern Book wants nothing more than the peace and quiet joy that come from raising corn and a family on a farm in Iowa. Unfortunately, life ambushes them. As the world around them is torn apart by war and civil strife, as assassinations and riots erupt, as Nature ravages his fields and Valley breaks his heart, Vern watches his six daughters throw his dreams away. His solution is to drink himself to death, which he does, taking Valley with him. Once their parents are gone, the sisters are free to explore their own lives, to determine who they will become.