word craft


Will there be a sequel?

True Confessions of Charlotte DoyleIsabelle, from Harp­er Woods, MI, writes, “I was won­der­ing if you’re going to make a sequel to The True Con­fes­sions of Char­lotte Doyle?” 

In the years since the book was pub­lished I have been asked that ques­tion many times, even before sequels became popular. 

It seems to me that Charlotte’s sto­ry, among a num­ber of things, is about her gain­ing the pow­er and courage to make choic­es for herself—to decide what she wish­es to do with her life. Of course, in the sto­ry, her biggest deci­sion, her biggest choice, is what to do after the events on the Sea­hawk, after she returns home to Prov­i­dence, RI. Since I feel Charlotte’s achieve­ment is the abil­i­ty to make choic­es for her­self, to tell the read­er what that choice might be would dimin­ish the book’s pow­er. That open­ness is what, I think the book is about. I am a strong believ­er that a book, once writ­ten, belongs to the read­er, not to the writer. Since I have no idea what Char­lotte might do, I want every read­er to make that choice on their own, even as I want every read­er to have that pow­er in their own lives. We all have the pow­er to write our own sequels. The sequel I won’t write is one for The True Con­fes­sions of Char­lotte Doyle. Isabelle, you are going to have to do that on your own.

3 thoughts on “Will there be a sequel?”

  1. I tru­ly agree! Some­times to leave some­thing to be a mys­tery makes the read­er think deeply and for a long time. Leave it for the read­er to won­der. I also agree that a sequel might ruin the book. How it is is sup­pose to be left.
    An ele­gant book. Did not think it would have such an adventure…
    Thanks for such a book, Avi! Hope to write like such a thing…

  2. I agree, as well. This was my favorite book grow­ing up and, even to this day, I imag­ine what Char­lotte could be doing with her life after such an adven­ture. Hav­ing the free­dom to imag­ine all the pos­si­bil­i­ties kept the sto­ry fresh in my mind. I am so thank­ful to you, Avi, for writ­ing such a thought-pro­vok­ing lit­er­ary gem!

  3. Avi,

    My 6th grade class just fin­ished read­ing about Char­lot­te’s jour­ney. Many have asked about a sequel. Some time has passed since your ini­tial response; there­fore, I was won­der­ing if per­haps the winds of change have moved you to recon­sid­er writ­ing a sequel?

    Also, sev­er­al of the stu­dents have men­tioned their dis­ap­point­ment in terms of how Cap­tain Jag­gery met his fate. They are curi­ous as to why his demise was acci­den­tal instead of at the hands of either Char­lotte or Zachari­ah? I am hop­ing you would share some insight on the matter?

    Thank you so much for let­ting us be a part of such a spe­cial girl’s world and for the joy your writ­ing brings to my class every year!

    A. Bosley


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