Gretchen Gibbs was born in the Midwest but grew up in Massachusetts, not too far from Andover, the setting for her novel The Book of Maggie Bradstreet. Andover was also the place Anne Dudley Bradstreet settled after her voyage from England. Gretchen spent much of her childhood voraciously reading, and she had a wonderful dog on whom Maggie’s Tobey is modeled.
Authoring the Bradstreet Chronicles
Gretchen attended Brandeis and received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Harvard. She taught and was an administrator at Fairleigh Dickinson for many years, and she practiced and did research in psychology. Upon her retirement, she went back to books, this time writing as well as reading. Poetry and memoir led to short stories and finally a novel. When she discovered that her ancestors played a major role in the witch trials in Andover, she had to write the story. She created the diary of a real girl, her ancestor Maggie Bradstreet. The Book of Maggie Bradstreet was published in 2013 by Glenmere Press.
Maggie’s grandmother, Anne Dudley Bradstreet, was the first American woman poet and led a fascinating life. Gretchen began to research Anne’s young adulthood and discovered that she grew up in a castle in England for part of her early life. The family was forced to immigrate to the New World because of their involvement with a traitor. Anne of the Fens, published 2015, tells the story.
Gretchen lives in a small town in New York, still likes reading and is an avid tennis player.