It was on a girlfriend trip to Amsterdam—a 4-day/no-sleep dash across the Atlantic and back—when I heard about Jo. On our packed agenda was a visit to the Van Gogh Museum. It was there, after two absorbing hours drinking in Vincent’s life and works, that I read a brief caption about Jo and how she had saved her brother-in-law’s paintings.
Like a fish hook, this snippet barbed my thought. Here was an unacknowledged woman behind one of the greatest artists of our times.
Jo didn’t let me go.
So, I’ve been writing and researching and imagining an historical fiction novel about Jo. My book is inspired by her true story. I’ve gathered up bits about early 20th century life, imagined the artists and influencers Jo could rub elbows with, traveled to the homes she once lived in, and am trying to depict the harsh headwind she had to overcome in championing Vincent’s paintings…for years.
I write stories of women who use determination and compassion to beat the odds.
Jo’s a perfect, inspiring, fit.