Joan E. McHugh feels privileged to have spent so much time with her great-aunt, Elizabeth Penson, both as a young girl and when she and her family shared their home with the aged woman. She especially cherishes the first-hand memories related by Elizabeth. Always an avid reader and willing listener to family tales, Joan has been able to draw on those stories and a collection of memorabilia to recreate an era now past.
Retired from a career in banking, Joan turned to writing, participating in learning sessions in the London, Ontario, area, where she lives. “After my great aunt passed away, I hoped to find the courage to share what I had learned about her from reading her journals,” Joan says. In Beloved Muskoka, she has drawn on Elizabeth Penson’s diaries and shared memories of Ferndale, where she too spent many a summer holiday.