In Conversation with Georgeanne Brennan
Is love incompatible with intelligence? Sarah Glass suspects this is the case. The shy, serious medical student would be the first to tell you that the heart is merely a muscle that beats or does not, the latter to the disadvantage of its owner. A heart cannot soar, leap, melt, or break. And this is why it’s so bewildering when it happens to her.
Dancing on the Spider's Web is set in San Francisco and Napa Valley in the 1970s. It’s the “winter after the Summer of Love” when Sarah decides, mid-way through med school, to give herself a break from hospitals, classrooms, and tests. She calls it “a month to live.” It becomes an adventure, during which she makes discoveries, she might never have found in a lab dissecting cadavers.
The deposit check hadn’t bounced. The keys opened the door. The electricity had been turned on without complications and all four burners on the gas stove worked. Sarah Glass, setting down the last of her three boxes of possessions, was overtaken by an unfamiliar, irrepressible fit of optimism. She felt it distinctly, if warily, an inexplicable notion that an invisible hand was arranging these things, a gift for following the bizarre impulse that had brought her here.
She did not believe in unseen hands, she reminded herself, but neither could she insist the sensation was only the biochemical result of living on peanut butter for three days. She, who had never done a wild thing, had done this. She flicked the light switch on and off. Lightbulbs too.
After studying journalism at UC Berkeley, Sasha Paulsen lived and worked in Europe and New England before returning to her hometown, Napa, California. While raising her two children, with the help of their dog, Pippi, she was features editor for The Napa Valley Register where she wrote about food, wine, art, and travel. Dancing on the Spider’s Web is her first novel.