“There was something about trees.”
My discovery started when I was fifteen and wrote a poem, “To A Tree,” and realized I had a place in this world.
Born from my girlhood growing up in a suburban town of Chicago, Deerfield was marked by four corners, and it was where I learned about home and about making connections to it. Trees became a metaphor for living, a guiding symbol for finding home, and the beginning for my story.
Self-discovery, and connection to the natural world, became central to all my writing of memoir and fiction. From the tops of the trees to the bottoms at their roots, and as the seasons evolve in our lives, there is a circular connection, where we can learn about ourselves in finding our places.
Nancy Chadwick grew up in a northern suburb of Chicago where Deerfield was marked by four corners. Making connections to it and to home would later become subjects in her writing. Nancy got her first job at Leo Burnett advertising agency in Chicago and after working a decade in the advertising agency business, she moved to international corporate banking. Nancy’s writing inspiration comes from her years living in Chicago, and in San Francisco, and meandering through the woods of any forest. Her essays have appeared in The Magic of Memoir: Inspiration for the Writing Journey, Adelaide Literary Magazine, and blogs by the Chicago Writers Association Write City, and Brevity. Under the Birch Tree (2018) and her second book, The Wisdom Of The Willow (2024) are by She Writes Press.
In the front yard of my childhood home, a birch tree grows tall and arabesque. Over the years, my birch buddy and I seemed to shadow one another and when I would be in the unfamiliar, a birch tree sighting was a connection to the familiar, reminding me where we met, where we came from, of home. Tenacious in my examination of my life, an exploration in what it means to belong, Under the Birch Tree is, ultimately, my success story of finding home.
Candidly engaging . . . an inherently fascinating, thoughtful and thought-provoking read from beginning to end.
– Midwest Book Review
Chadwick brings numerous anecdotes to life with vivid dialogue and details of settings and characters.
This is a book that shows how faith can help conquer life’s hardships, forging a way through life‘s challenges and how reflection and discovery provide inner-strength and belief in one’s own abilities to succeed and to never surrender. I was completely absorbed while reading Under the Birch Tree, which shows how important connections are in establishing a solid grounding in life. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever questioned their place in life.
– San Francisco Book Review
In the backyard of Margaret and Joe Dowling’s new house in the north suburbs of Chicago, Joe plants a young willow tree as a symbol of home, belonging, and growth. As the years pass, the willow becomes a place for Margaret to share life’s wisdom with their four young daughters.
A metaphorically rich and reflective tale of sisterhood and strength,The Wisdom of the Willow is a story of hope and healing, of the choices that shape our lives, and the challenges we all face as we seek to find our places in the world.
Coming May 2024
A lovely, engrossing book about our individual and collective search for self and place, and the wisdom nature provides.
-Sally Cole-Misch, The Best Part of Us