The women of the Priya Club continue to evolve with each new novel. Challenges, choices, events, relationships – any part of their lives can change at a moment’s notice. This is Washington, D.C., after all, a place where nothing is as it seems, anything is possible (when you hold the right cards), and “forever” is defined as the length of an election cycle.
Updates and new information will be added about each of the Priya Club members as their lives grow in hoped for and, sometimes, unexpected directions. As it is for the rest of us, change is the one constant for the Priya Club and for its devoted members.
From the time she was a little girl, it has been important to India that everyone around her gets along, and feels included. Joining the Priya Club was a hard decision for her because she worried that if others found out about this fun, smart club and realized they hadn’t been invited in, their feelings would be hurt. India has always gone out her way to not step on toes or intentionally hurt people’s feelings.
This commitment to inclusion has come at a strong personal cost to India’s professional and private lives. It doesn’t matter who calls, or when, or what they ask of her – she will stop what she’s doing and focus her energy and resources on making that person’s life better. How do you spell “team” the Priya Club way? I–n-d-i-a.
Jilla married her sweetheart, Bubba Clarke, the Saturday before high school graduation. A year later, they welcomed their first child. Fourteen years later, they have six little humans, with plans for more. Jilla is that rare woman who manages to get it all done in a day. She is unparalleled at time management, and at managing people. Born and raised on a farm, she continues to live on that farm where, technically, she works from home. (Her job as master winemaker of the The Old Hundred vineyard requires her to commute to the Southeast corner of the property.)
For all the successes she has professionally – and there are many – her number one priority remains her husband and children. When asked how she gets it all done, Jilla shrugs, and says, “Get the heart right, and everything else will follow.”
Kenna uses interior design — color, fabrics, styles, functions — to encourage her fellow Priya Club members to themselves, and their lives, in a whole new light. She firmly believes that success (in any area of life) is powered by opening one’s mind, heart, and spirit to new ideas and differing perspectives. She wonders how one is supposed to create something new if the “ingredients” are always the same.
And just what is Kenna’s recommendation for the fastest path to change? New paint. She routinely encourages her clients to pick a central room in their homes and to change only the paint, selecting a color that is completely outside their comfort zone. Occasionally, a Priya Club member will return home to find a room changed. Sometimes, it’s just the paint. Other times, as in Violet’s case last summer, the room is completed altered and nearly unrecognizable. The magnitude of the change is in direct proportion to just how far Kenna believes that Priya has strayed from her true path.
Lyric has a secret. She spends much of her time worrying that people will find out about it. The Priyas know what it is, of course, and so does her dad. But everyone else? More and more, the idea of public exposure of her secret sends Lyric into retreat, and often has her hiding out within the unbroken circle of the Priya Club. There, she is protected, yes, but increasing removed from the life she was born to live.
She dreams, Lyric does, of interacting with the world boldly, purposefully. Of never again meeting someone new – a handsome man, for example – and becoming paralyzed by negative thoughts about his possible reaction to her secret. Some people think she is standoffish, or a snob. Others say she’s shy. The Priyas know the truth: Lyric is a magical songbird, whose gift of music far outshines any shadows life – and enemies – may throw her way.
If Bonner is the “fact” checker, that makes Marah the “flaw” checker in the Priya Club. (And pretty much everywhere else in her life.) For the most part, Marah is only capable of expressing the negative point of view, in any situation. She holds her own opinion in the highest esteem and is always ready to share it, anywhere. The irony is that Marah demands that others live by a strict code of social protocols, which she allows herself to ignore propriety whenever it suits her purpose, or mood.
When the other members press Ava about why she would ever allow Marah to become a part of the Priya Club, Ava always offers the same answer: Success requires first examining a situation from all angles. No other Priya has the ability to see potential flaws and problems as clearly and swiftly as Marah is able to do, making Marah an indispensable part of building a sound future for the Priya Club.
Nanette spends most of her year traveling the world. She loves to sit down in a strange land, with a person unknown to her, and use every translation tools she’s collected over her decade as a travel writer to gain new understanding about the resilience of the human spirit, and the triumph of love over all who seek to destroy it. Though the stories are different, and the problems and places, too, the message is always the same: love conquers all. Readers flock to her because no matter their mood or circumstance, she brings the stories that renew their faith in love.
It is strange then, Nanette’s fear of inviting love into her personal life. She is always on a plane or train, never staying anywhere for longer than a few weeks, unless it’s Washington, D.C., making relationships near impossible. The Priyas know this is her goal – she can’t hide it from them. They also know that her unwillingness to open her heart is simply because the right man hasn’t knocked on it yet.
Olive has human emotions, true, but they are hidden deep beneath her mask of “just the science, please.” She works hard to look at every life situation from the perspective of the tangible: acts, events, results. As a research scientist, Olive gets to spend her days in a calm, fact-centered, low-contact environment. As the oldest child of a flamboyant mother, one prone to show up for the school run, back in the day, dressed in costume and singing some off-tune number, Olive has long used silence and stillness as her escape from her own reality.
Her family’s favorite joke is that she must have been switched at birth. Olive doesn’t like being the family joke. She does like being a Priya, where, yes, there are lots of big personalities, but there are also rules. Olive’s family has no rules, no boundaries, so she grew up hunting for them, reveling in them. She would add more of them to her world, today, if both her boss and Ava would let her. In contrast, Olive’s boyfriend lets her make all the rules she wants, agreeing to stay in a relationship that lacks any hint of spontaneity or passion. Or love. The Priyas know that all of it boils down to one thing: Olive is living a lie.
Paige’s refusal to embrace sadness or anger has earned her many nicknames – most of them unfriendly. She doesn’t gossip. She doesn’t care at all what anyone around her thinks – not even the Priyas – about the manner in which she chooses to live her life. Her true gift, one she was born with, is finding the silver linings in any situation.
For her, hope is the refusal to accept any sad or negative words, actions, or experiences as final. Much the way a child does, she holds on to hope at all times, nurturing and nourishing it’s place in her life, and heart. When a Priya cannot see her way clear of a dark situation, Paige is there to hold up the light of pure hope,
Quinlan grew up the only child of a wealthy, drug-addicted single mother. With her home life in shambles, her grandmother became the dominant force in her life. An ethical woman, she raised Quinlan to always value integrity over deception, and work ethic over short cuts – in herself and in others. She attended every one of Quinlan’s soccer games, recitals, Christmas pageants, awards ceremonies, and graduations.
Quinlan’s early years were spent learning to navigate her way through problems and conflicts that should have been far beyond her knowledge of the world. Quinlan found that a successful outcome was most always predicated upon a successful strategy at the onset. Her highly-evolved ability to smoothly navigate troubled waters is the cornerstone of her success, both on and off the field, and has benefited every member of the Priya Club, some more than others.