I was standing in front of the row of adult fiction, just exploring the worlds beyond Narnia, Carolyn Haywood and Beany Malone. My mother joined me, picked a book from the shelf and handed it to me, saying, "Here - I think you might like this." It was Dawn's Early Light, by Elswyth Thane, and was my introduction into the world of historical fiction. As my years in junior high and high school went by, I read and re-read all the books in the Williamsburg series that began with Dawn's Early Light and continued with Yankee Stranger and Ever After. The later books had family trees on the endpapers, which fascinated me, but even more important, imparted a sense that who your parents and grandparents were mattered - that those who came before you made a difference in who your are today. "The Spragues were strong and unruly, enterprising and irresistible...The Murrays were a tough, adventurous, passionate, intensely masculine breed of men with a flair for making money...And the Days were likely to be bookish, thoughtful, homekeeping, loving people." (Ever After, p.13)
Not unlike the Reeds. For me, that's where it all began.