Book Club Mom’s Author Update – Noelle A. Granger

Author name: Noelle A. Granger

Genre: Historical fiction

Book: The Last Pilgrim

News: This book was a labor of love (and sweat and tears) for the past four years. It began with the realization that the women of the Mayflower have been much overlooked. Their contributions – backbreaking labor under terrible circumstance – insured the survival of the colony. Colonies begun in the New England region in the 1700s did not survive without women. It was a close call, but I managed to finish the book in the quadricentennial year of the landing of the Mayflower on the New England coast. I am biased, of course.

I grew up in Plymouth and my parents volunteered me to portray various girls and young women in the Pilgrims’ Progress each week during the summer. In high school, I was chosen to be one of the first guides, now called re-enactors, at the newly built Plimoth Plantation, a recreation of the original village. I loved it! I guess it was a foretelling of what I would do for the rest of my life – teaching – because I got great satisfaction in telling the Pilgrim story and showing the visitors the houses to which I was assigned.

At some point I decided to write a book about the women and I came across the name of Mary Allerton Cushman, who was four years old when she and her parents sailed on the Mayflower. This remarkable woman lived to the end of the 17th century. She saw and experienced it all – the horrible voyage across the Atlantic, the winter of dying, the starvation and deprivation of the following year until the first crops came in, the interactions with the Native Americans, the wars, an earthquake, epidemics, and a monstrous hurricane.

The Last Pilgrim captures and celebrates the grit and struggle of the Pilgrim women, who stepped off the Mayflower in the winter of 1620 to an unknown world. The Plymouth Colony would not have survived without them.

Mary Allerton Cushman was the last surviving passenger of the Mayflower, dying at age 88 in 1699. Her unusually long life and her relationships with important men – her father, Isaac Allerton and her husband, Thomas Cushman – gave her a front row seat to the history of the Plymouth Colony from its beginnings as the first permanent settlement in New England to when it became part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.

Website/blog link:

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44 thoughts on “Book Club Mom’s Author Update – Noelle A. Granger

    1. I was just going to email you the link but you saw it first! You’re very welcome, Noelle. Mary Cushman led a fascinating life. Glad to spread the word about you and your new book 🙂

    1. It does sound good, doesn’t it, Mary? I love the whole New England story, even though I’m from New Jersey. I love imagining early settlers living here. Even in Pennsylvania, we have lots of history. Thanks for stopping by to read about Noelle’s new book!

  1. Noelle, I have a close friend who can trace her family history on one side to the Mayflower. I need to make her aware of this book. Cheers, Noelle, and thank you, Barbara, for the profile and links here. 😉

    1. My husband is a descendant of John Howland, but I am descended from an apprentice boat maker who came to Gloucester in 1627. I hope your friend likes the book – there are something like 8 million people descended from the Mayflower passengers They were prolific.

    1. Hi Jill – yes Noelle’s book sounds really great. I love American history from the early settlers times. Also love that cover! Thanks for the visit and for reading about Noelle’s new book 🙂

  2. I might be misremembering this, but I think I met Noelle briefly at the Bloggers Bash in the UK about three years ago. Makes me wonder whether she was over here doing some research. Beginning to wish I’d spent more time talking to her!

    1. Yup, Graeme, I was at a Bloggers Bash. Unfortunately, I was not doing research at that time, but it would have helped my vision for this book, I’m sure. Cheers! Stop by my blog anytime!

      1. You were with Sally Cronin, I seem to recall (it’s all coming back to me now!). As it happens, I live in an area where some of the Pilgrim Fathers originated, and I know there were great plans to celebrate it this year. I think the Covid situation has stopped that in its tracks. I’ve just started following your site, so I will stop by periodically.

    2. Thanks for the follow Graeme! They have canceled most of the celebrations in Plymouth on this side of the pond but will have them next year, which is more appropriate to my mind because the first ‘thanksgiving’ was in 2021. We had planned to go this year for the Thanksgiving parade, but will next year. The re furbished Mayflower recently came home, though

  3. Darlene, you couldn’t be more right. These women worked themselves to death, caring for the men and the children, without complaint, sustained by their belief in God.

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