Bank of Books in Ventura is holding a book signing on July 24 featuring Santa Paula author Betsy Blanchard Chess.
The book signing will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the store at 748 E. Main St.
Ms. Chess’ book, “Daughter of the Land,” is a story of a free-spirited child of privilege sheltered among the lemon and orange groves of the Santa Clara Valley, weaving both family legacy and how the author fits into the story of her pioneering ancestors.
“Betsy Chess presents captivating vignettes of her many relatives and their impact on Santa Paula and the verdant Santa Clara Valley of Ventura County,” according to a news release from Bank of Books. “She provides insight into marginalized communities that for 125 years have constituted the majority of the workforce for the citrus capital of the world. ‘Daughter of the Land’ sweeps readers through almost 200 years of a family’s history, yet is grounded in hard work and the delight of life on the ranch.
“It presents a unique view, in words and pictures, of a way of living that no longer exists,” according to the release.
The story is set in a small agricultural town and focused on the Blanchard family, which pioneered raising oranges and lemons and gave rise to the Limoneira Co. The company was for many years considered the world’s largest citrus ranch, and today it produces citrus fruit in both American hemispheres.
Ms. Chess attended high school at the Bishop’s School for Girls in La Jolla, then did graduate and post-graduate work at USC, earning a master’s in modern European history. She engaged in dual careers as an agricultural journalist and a nonprofit arts manager.
She worked in top executive positions for the New West Symphony in Ventura County, the Rubicon Theater Company in Ventura and the Museum of Ventura County, while editing and publishing the Central Coast Farm & Ranch magazine.
Ms. Chess, a Ventura resident, has received recognition and awards numerous times for her work.