Martha's Vineyard

With The Silver Boat coming out April 5th,I've been thinking a lot about the novel's settings, particularly Martha's Vineyard.

A forty-five minute ferry ride from Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the island is magical, romantic, filled with amazing history and secret places.  Narrow lanes lined with beach roses, fishing boats at the dock, salt-silvered shingle houses, lichen-covered stone walls, beautiful ocean beaches, red-clay cliffs, sailboats in the harbors, bright gardens behind picket fences, stately sea-captains' houses, winding roads, shady glens, hilltops overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Vineyard Sound...

As a child I spent much time there with family friends.  Later I found summer jobs, ways of staying on the island for blissful summers while writing about my experience.  My go-to positions were babysitting and being a chambermaid.

My favorite times were spent on Lucy Vincent Beach, playing or swimming with the kids, or riding my bike there on my days off.

I was fourteen.  Beach nights were secret and wonderful.  Older kids would build a bonfire.  Someone always had a guitar.  We would surfcast and swim; one July  night I felt the the scrape of something cold on my leg, and I had no doubt I'd just been touched by a passing shark.

On rainy days I'd take the kids to the Flying Horses in Oak Bluffs, the oldest platform carousel in America.  It arrived on the island in 1884.  I'd ride the merry-go-round with the kids and feel free and happy and somehow nostalgic in a way I hadn't yet understood.

All of these experiences went in deep.  When I wrote The Silver Boat, about three sisters who return to their island home, the only place they've ever been happy together, I drew on memories, dreams, that elusive nostalgia, and love of my own private Martha's Vineyard.

The character of Harrison--the sisters' best childhood friend--seems to be a favorite of early readers of the novel.  I can't wait to introduce you to him--and the real-life best friend who inspired him.

The novel continues in Ireland, home of the sister's long-gone father, and the site of a family secret, but that's another blog post...  (and so is Harrison!)

The Silver Boat

A heartwarming yet heart-wrenching portrait of three far-flung sisters who come home to Martha’s Vineyard one last time to say goodbye to the family beach house. Memories of their grandmother, mother, and their Irish father, who sailed away the year Dar, the oldest, turned twelve, rise up and expose the fine cracks in their family myth.

Read More