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The Nature of Fragile Things: A Seismic (in Person!) Adventure

January 31 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm PST


About the Event

Get ready SoCal Adventurers; we are ready to set off shock waves with our first in-person* event of 2021! Join us at one of three outdoor stops in Southern California as we kick off the new year with beloved San Diego author Susan Meissner. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and settle in to hear Susan discuss her new historical novel, The Nature of Fragile Things, set during the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Your Adventure includes an autographed hardcover book, book discussion with the author, Q&A, the opportunity to reconnect with other readers from a safe social distance, and a special added bonus (available only to our Adventurers) to be shared with you after the event!

*All three events will be held outdoors and will follow these public park and COVID safety guidelines: (1) all participants are required to wear a face mask at all times during the events; (2) all participants are required to remain socially (6 feet) distant during the entirety of the events; (3) each event will be limited to the first 30 participants who register in order to keep the events intimate and safe; (4) if you wish to have your book(s) personalized, please include instruction in the “note” section at checkout below, as no signings will take place during the events; (5) event will take place regardless of weather, so plan your attire accordingly; (6) to keep the author and all participants safe, no traditional book signing or photos with the author will be permitted; (7) we reserve the right to cancel the event at any time due to concerns and/or changes in the COVID situation (in this case, your signed book will be mailed to you).

Three SoCal epicenters to choose from:

10:00-10:30am     San Diego – Fault Line Park, 1433 Island Avenue, San Diego, California.

Just as the name implies, Fault Line Park, the first public park in East Village, became a public park because no structures for human occupancy can be built on it. Beneath the surface is a Holocene active fault that was determined to have surface displacement within the last 11,700 years. The fault line is a strand of the Rose Canyon Fault system. The walkway that crosses the park from J Street to Island Avenue artistically depicts the general line of the fault, which actually curves southwest of the walkway, crossing 14th Street and J Street and angling toward 13th Street. A visit to this park reveals how the geology of the area has affected construction in the immediate area. Read more about the park that is the perfect setting to launch Susan’s book tour.

11:30-12:00pm  Encinitas – Encinitas Community Park, 425 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas, California

1:30-2:00pm Costa Mesa – Wakeham Park, 3400 Smalley Road, Costa Mesa, California (in conversation with Jaymi Couch, The OC BookGirl)


About the Author and Book

Susan Meissner is a USA Today (and soon-to-be New York Times) bestselling author of historical fiction with more than half a million books in print in fifteen languages. She is an author, speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Last Year of the War, named to Real Simple magazine’s list of best books for 2019; As Bright as Heaven, which earned a starred review in Library Journal; Secrets of  Charmed Life, a Goodreads finalist for Best Historical Fiction 2015; and A Fall of Marigolds, named to Booklist’s Top Ten Women’s Fiction titles for 2014. A California native, she attended Point Loma Nazarene University and is also a writing workshop volunteer for Words Alive, a San Diego non-profit dedicated to helping at-risk youth foster a love for reading and writing.

In her new book, The Nature of Fragile Things, hailed by Publishers Weekly in a starred review as “ingeniously plotted and perfectly structured,” a mail-order bride desperate to get out of New York marries a mysterious San Francisco widower whose 5-year old child does not speak, but her hastily cobbled-together happiness is forever changed by a massive earthquake that shakes up everything.

1905 – Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so anxious to get out of a Lower Manhattan tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin’s silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin’s odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn’t right.

Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved.

The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear. Here is a novel about the bonds of friendship and mother love, and the power of female solidarity…


January 31
9:00 am - 3:00 pm PST
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The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
San Diego event with Nature of Fragile Things hc book
This option includes event admission, along with a signed, hardcover copy of The Nature of Fragile Things, available to be picked up at San Diego tour stop.
$ 29.00
25 available
Encinitas event with Nature of Fragile Things hc book
This option includes event admission, along with a signed, hardcover copy of The Nature of Fragile Things, available to be picked up at Encinitas tour stop.
$ 29.00
23 available
Costa Mesa event with Nature of Fragile Things hc book
This option includes event admission, along with a signed, hardcover copy of The Nature of Fragile Things, available to be picked up at Costa Mesa tour stop.
$ 29.00
27 available