Jenny Knipfer–Author

Writing to inspire, encourage, and enjoy

Happy middle of the week. 🙂 I have a few fun things to share pertaining to Under the Weeping Willow, my upcoming novel.

First, did you know my book, In a Grove of Maples, has it’s own candle? Well, it does, and it smells sooooo fallishly delicious!!

From the Page candles works with authors to craft a candle reminiscent of their book. My candle has notes of amber, smoke, leaves, and maple. Every time I burnt it I want to make pancakes, topped with maple syrup.

The next bit of exciting news: I have an updated cover for Under the Weeping Willow with a five-star review from Readers’ Favorite on the front, and I have a book trailer to share with you. Click the book image below to learn more about my novel.

The below excerpt comes from a few chapters into the novel, when Enid is starting to discover some thing about her mother from her mother’s diary entries and old letters from her mother’s sister, Mabel.


After I hear Clive’s waffling snore, I roll out of bed. I can’t sleep and a cup of tea calls to me. I pad out to the kitchen in my bare feet and make myself a cup of chamomile. 

Last summer I grew chamomile in a clump in the garden near the veggie patch. Even though I appreciate harvesting and using my own herbs for tea, putting the plants too near the veggies was a mistake. I’ve been pulling out chamomile every time I go to weed the beds. It has come up in most every available patch of dirt at that end of the garden. 


Regrets aside, I collect my tea in a stoneware mug, turn on a lamp, and sit in my comfy chair. My gaze rests on the stack of letters I’ve tossed on the end table, and I reach for them. I select the envelope with the June 1918 postmark from the asylum and pull the letter out. It reads: 

Dear Mabel,
You are my only confidante. I cannot put into words what I’m feeling, or what I’ve done for fear it will be too dark for you. I want you to remember me happy and content, but in reality, I am neither. 

Everything has changed since I gave birth to Enid. I’ve changed. My once carefree outlook on life has been dampened by a heavy curtain of sorrow, but I don’t know why. My thinking has been turned upside down and every aspect of my life is acquainted well with an element of grief. 

I grieve for my separation from Willis and my daughter, my actions, and their consequences. Sorrow has overtaken me, and I don’t know how to be rid of it. I have lost control of my life and my decisions. Maybe that’s why I’ve chosen not to speak. My spoken words are something that I can control, and it gives me some bit of power when all else has been washed away with my dunk in the pond. 

Do not hate me for this, for I could not bear it. Love me as you can and write soon. 

Your sister, Robin 

Tears roll from my eyes as I imagine how Mom must have suffered during this time. I wipe my face with the edge of my nightgown. Why am I finding out all of this now when I can’t talk to her about it? It’s ironic and stupid and unfair. I pound my fist on the arm of my chair in frustration. 

Why, God? Why? I inwardly scream. But there is no answer. 

Gradually my tears fade, my hands unclench, and I think of a verse in Ecclesiastes, referencing time and how there is a time for everything under heaven. Maybe I am reading these at the time I am supposed to. With that thought, a great layer of peace rests on me like a soft blanket, and I fold the letter and put it back in the aged envelope, which smells faintly of roses. 

I let my head fall back against the cushion of the chair and try to trust God with what I can’t understand. 

Thank you!

Thanks so much for reading the excerpt. Have you ever discovered something you didn’t know about a family member from old diaries or letters?


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