FALMOUTH – It was an occasion that attracted generations. Mothers brought their mothers and their children to the Chelsea Clinton book-signing this morning at Eight Cousins Books in Falmouth.
Hundreds of people turned out to the event in which the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, was signing copies of her new children’s book, “She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World.” The crowd—661 people, according to bookstore staff—filled the back parking lot of the bookstore and snaked out to the Falmouth Town Hall parking lot.
Over all, more than 1,000 copies were sold of “She Persisted” and an earlier Chelsea Clinton book, “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going.” People began arriving for the signing before 8:30am, two hours before the 10:30 event, according to one attendee who was one of the first in line.
Among the early arrivals were Kristin Bennett of East Falmouth with her three daughters, Grace, 5, Ellie, 7, and Anna, 11, and their grandmother, Marjorie Roache, also of East Falmouth.
When asked what brought them to the event, Roache considered the question for a moment before saying, “Because of the current political climate, and we’re worried about the future of our country. And it’s important for our girls to feel empowered.”
Anna had already read the book and pronounced it, “awesome.”
Her mom, Kristin Bennett said that she brought all of her daughters to the event because, “I think that it’s important for my girls to see women who are strong and involved as role models.”
Sara Hines, one of the co-owners of Eight Cousins Books, said it was one of the biggest days ever for the store. While the book’s sales today did not break one-day sales records at the store, which are held by Judy Blume when she came for a book-signing some years ago, Hines said the sales overall of the Clinton book since it was released in May could have broken records. “We had a lot more people pre-purchase than I expected. It is definitely in Harry Potter league. I don’t know of any book that has come close,” she said.
Janet Daniels, a retired educator from Winchester who summers in the Maravista section of Falmouth, said, “I’m getting this book for my granddaughter.” Of Chelsea Clinton, she added, “She could be president some day, you never know.”
Standing next to her in line, Janet Simons-Folger of Falmouth was holding places in line for eight others, including her 91-year-old mother, who she picked up from a nearby nursing home to bring her to the event, as well as her daughter, Lian, 25, who was bringing her boss’s four daughters to the event all the way from Boston. “It’s all good—spreading the news on strong women,” she said.
Also standing nearby in line was Leslie Garrett of Florida, who has summered in Mashpee most of her life, with her mother, Ann Dynan, a retired teacher, and her daughter, Savannah Garrett, and her daughter’s friend, Isabella Paolini, both 14 years old. “The big thing for us is showing our daughters strong women are in history. My daughter wants to go into government and make a difference.”
Nearby was another trio of generations. Lauri Gilbert, Bourne High School Class of 1981, was there with her mother, Carole Valeri, Bourne High School Class of 1952, and her daughter, Maggie Gilbert, 24, Bourne High School Class of 2011. Lauri Gilbert, a teacher, said she plans to use the book in her classroom.
One of the few men in line, Sam Shapiro, 26, of East Falmouth, said he attended the event to get a copy of the book for his three-year-old cousin, “a cute little girl with a lot of health issues.”
“I wanted to come and meet Chelsea and get a book signed for Karli,” he said.
He was with his mother, Debra Cormier, a teacher in Plymouth, who also said she plans to teach the book as part of her social studies curriculum “to read with my second graders.”