Blooming in Winter: The Story of a Remarkable Twentieth-Century Woman

21,000+ Reviews has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$16.95  $15.76
She Writes Press
Publish Date
5.91 X 8.9 X 0.94 inches | 0.9 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
After growing up in Sierra Madre, CA, Pam Valois moved north to attend UC Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement. After almost flunking out due to political rallies and other interests--birth control pills had just been offered--she returned to Los Angeles to become a dental hygienist and, in her free time, a quasi-hippie, selling macramé and her photos at weekend craft fairs. Pam married psychologist Lloyd Linford on the lawn of Jacomena Maybeck's Berkeley cottage and studied photography with Ruth Bernhard in San Francisco. Gifts of Age: Portraits and Essays of 32 Remarkable Women, a bestseller inspired by Jacomena, was published in 1985. After immensely enjoying mothering two sons, Pam earned a master's degree and started a new career in health care. Now at age seventy-five, she's been retired for ten years. She enjoys walking in the woods, reading, and hanging out with friends and family. She lives in Berkeley, CA.
2022 IPPY Awards Gold Winner in West-Pacific (Best Regional Non-Fiction)

"Pam Valois's lovely account of Jacomena Maybeck and her life in the
Berkeley Hills reveals the real and fascinating woman whose artistic and
cosmopolitan ideas defined a generation of women living in that iconic

--Inderpal Grewal, Professor Emerita, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University

"Blooming in Winter is the biography of a fascinating woman who
managed to live her long life to the fullest. . . . Although Jackie is
not famous outside of Northern California, this biography reveals her to
be a woman worth knowing. In contemporary American society, which
favors youthfulness, Jackie showed that. . . it is never too late to
begin something new."
--Foreword Clarion Reviews

"Through our shared passion for conserving Berkeley's architectural
heritage, I came to treasure Jacomena's wit and her devotion to the
legacy of Bernard Maybeck, the great American Arts and Crafts architect.
Jackie held court over house tours that revealed how graceful
architecture enriches and shapes our lives."

--Anthony Bruce, Director, Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association

"Valois' rich narrative portrays an ageless woman who also epitomizes a
particular time and place. Jacomena proves, through her own genius, that
to create a house is also to create a home and a life. Blooming in Winter is an appreciation of this remarkable woman."

--Tina Gillis, author of Where Edges Don't Hold, Finalist, Maine Literary Award for Maine-themed Non-fiction, 2018

"Beautifully written, filled with family conflict, love and suspense,
the story of Jacomena Maybeck is the tale of every woman and her
struggles to find her voice and create a life on her own terms."

--Louise Nayer, author of Burned: A Memoir, an Oprah Great Read

"Navigating widowhood and grappling with the onset of old age, Maybeck
embraces her independence and freely explores all artistic inquiries. . .
. A reverential celebration of a feisty woman with a zest for growth,
art, community, and dynamic living. This careful consideration of an
extraordinary life emphasizes creative expression and the strength of

--BookLife Reviews

"Many books deal with Berkeley's architectural roots and Maybeck's influence. Blooming in Winter
successfully intertwines Berkeley's architecture and social history,
seamlessly integrating architectural design with family combat and a
woman's fight for and right to independence."

--Leslie M. Freudenheim, author of Building with Nature: Inspiration for the Arts and Crafts Home

"[This] biography focuses on a venerable woman who left her mark on
Berkeley, California. Valois' careful selection of quotes from Maybeck's
contradictory, 'Rashomon-like' diaries are deployed to great effect,
furthering the vision of a charming woman anyone would love to know. . .
. [T]he account feels like a nostalgic conversation about a deeply
loved, mutual friend. An engaging and detailed portrait of a
20th-century woman and the communities she tended."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Planted in the soil of the Maybeck family, Blooming in Winter is
an absorbing tale and a graceful retelling of a woman's life. Widowed
at age sixty-one, Jacomena Maybeck seeks--and finds--her own identity as
an artist and storyteller."

--Sandra Butler, author of It Never Ends: Mothering Middle-Aged Daughters

"In Blooming in Winter, photographer and writer Pam Valois
introduces us to her friend and muse, Jacomena Maybeck, and reveals an
insider's vision of Maybeck life and architecture. Carefully curated and
based on letters, diaries, interviews, and extensive research, Valois's
collage is a compelling portrait of a fascinating woman who provides a
glimpse into how to balance dark thoughts with small pleasures and live
fully at any age."

--Ruth O. Saxton, author of The Book of Old Ladies, and
Professor Emerita of English, co-founder of the Women's Studies program,
and founder of Rhetoric and Composition program at Mills College

"While Blooming in Winter presents the specific story of
Jacomena's life in a legendary family, it shares themes that are
universal to all women--the challenges of fitting in while maintaining
independence in a circle of large personalities, the struggle to find
creative outlets and realizing your passion, and gracefully aging while
change is all around you. It also paints an intimate portrait of Bernard
Maybeck the architect, artist, husband, father and grandfather."

--Jan Berckefeldt, Executive Director, Maybeck Foundation

"Blooming in Winter portrays my mother, Jacomena Maybeck, as she
was in life. With a fine ear for my mother's wit, a wink at her
quirkiness, and a knowledge of her secrets, Pam Valois reveals the
secrets of a good old age."

--Adriana (Cherry) Maybeck Nittler