Maybe her time studying at Harvard had something to do with it. Maggie Shipstead, who attended a San Juan Capistrano private high school, has come out with a book about New England families feuding over lust, love and a few too many shots of gin.
"Seating Arrangements" has won the praise of book critics including Dylan Landis of the New York Times, who called the book a "smart and frothy debut novel."
She also landed on Oprah Winfrey's Beach Reads Reading List.
Shipstead will be in Mission Viejo for a free presentation at the next Tuesday, Aug. 7.
She says her book was purely a work of imagination. She said the idea sprung up from the people she met in Cambridge "whose style of dress was crisp and culturally regimented and was in no way inspired by surfers or skaters or movie stars grocery shopping in velour sweatsuits."
The presentation is part of the Writers Present program, sponsored by the Friends of the Mission Viejo Library. To register, visit the Mission Viejo Library Adult Reference Desk at 100 Civic Center or call 949-830-7100 Ext. 5105.