Lise Saffran’s novel Juno’s Daughters is set in the San Juan Islands, off the coast of Washington State. A camping trip to the San Juan Islands is the first journey she and her husband took together when they were college students in Eugene, Oregon and it is the place they returned to years later, for a special birthday weekend without the kids. It was on that trip that they saw local theater company Island Stage Left perform their version of The Tempest, and it was that experience that provided the kernel of inspiration for the story of Jenny Alexander and her daughters.
“Wonderfully immersive…Readers will find themselves caught up in the isolated island communities of the Puget Sound, which reflect the Shakespearean themes without losing their own unique expressiveness. Saffran’s prose is delicate and precise, and her focus on the Bard reveals an obvious affection for the English language. She has created an excellent protagonist in Jenny, balancing her growth with that of her daughters, and takes care in giving them all enough room to grow.”
— Publishers Weekly
“A nice portrait of a close-knit, creative community and all the quirks that go along with it. Shakespearean references abound, which makes for a treat for literary fiction fans, yet it’s done with a light enough touch that those unfamiliar with The Tempest or other such works won’t feel left out.”
— Library Journal
“In Saffran’s debut novel set in Washington’s San Juan Islands, local life is disrupted and enchanted by a raft of summer visitors, including a crew of professional actors who have arrived to play The Tempest for the islands’ annual Shakespeare performance. Romantic mayhem results on stage and off as Saffran deftly directs the interplay of natural and manmade forces in the San Juan archipelago.”
— National Geographic Traveler