This past Valentine’s Day Weekend, my husband and I traveled to Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. If you follow my posts or know me, you’ll know Murrells Inlet is a favorite destination and also the setting for my novel, Fall in Eden, which I recently unpublished (for reasons why, click here.)
Murrells Inlet is a special place. People often fall in love with it on their first visit. If you ask us why, we can’t say. Perhaps it’s because of the laid-back atmosphere. Perhaps because of the feeling of detachment from the everyday that one experiences while there. Or perhaps because of both of those along with the gorgeous view of the inlet, which is hidden behind a long row of restaurants situated along Business Hwy 17. That view won me over back in 2006, and not a year passes that we don’t return to see it.
Since that first visit, the community of this former fishing hamlet has built a Marshwalk behind the restaurants. We love to stroll to (or from, depending on where we begin our meanderings) to the Veterans Pier. The view is peaceful and glorious, even with the music that drifts over the water from the Dead Dog Saloon, Creek Ratz, and other coastal eateries.
And that doesn’t count the beauty of Huntington Beach State Park and Brookgreen Gardens, both lovely, historic places of great importance to Murrells Inlet.
Between our visits for pleasure and my need to do research for Fall in Eden, we spent a lot of time there. I also spent a very long time (ten + years) writing, rewriting, and polishing Fall, which means the characters were with me for over a decade. So it seems strange that the Yellowfin restaurant doesn’t exist, that I won’t run into Adam, Kristen Miss Aida, or Mark during visits, or that Lorelei won’t show up at our table to take our order.
Their stories—Adam learning to place others ahead of himself; Kristen overcoming her shame to find grace and forgiveness; Lorelei dealing with her anger and bitterness, Mark longing for the woman he fell for, and all of the unexpected friendships that occurred–mean a lot to me. While Fall may currently be out of print, the lessons learned from the characters’ journeys, and what I learned while writing it, will stay with me forever. And the great thing is, it will all come to mind every time we visit the place one real-life resident once called the Garden of Eden.