Novelist Eileen Goudge introduced me to Capitola’s historic, colorful beach villas.

Capitola
Had I known how beautiful this little seaside town was, I would have come here sooner.

Believe it or not, it is renowned as the oldest beach resort on the West Coast. Its name mimicks that of a heroine in a novel dating back to the 1867: The Hidden Hand, by E.D.E.N. Southworth.

If you guessed E.D.E.N. was a woman, you're right. To get published back then, many women wrote under pseudonyms, which could be taken for men's names, and gain an audience.

The villas, shown above, are the very first condominums. Go figure. Wish I owned one now. They overlook Monterrey Bay, scanning it from its north shore. The old Capitola Pier is still standing, and far enough out to fish from it.

The day we were there with novelist Eileen Goudge, a seal was frolicking in the surf.

Thank goodness Eileen and I can use our real names. Her books, wonderful tales of contemporary women who have had a fall from grace but find redemption, are tightly plotted. My favorite is Woman in Red.

But hey Eileen writes so prolifically, you'll have several others to read afterward.

 

— Josie

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