Thursday, July 19, 2007

New books set on Cape Cod

The Maytrees by Annie DillardThe Maytrees
By Annie Dillard
HarperCollins, $24.95
In this beautiful, powerfully moving novel, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dillard displays penetrating insight into the human condition. Evocative, engrossing, and profound, this is a remarkable story about the unknowable, unbreakable bonds of love and family. Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath. Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty. In spare, elegant prose, Dillard traces the Maytrees' decades of loving and longing. They live among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts.

We gathered a rich assortment of articles about Annie Dillard previously on the Inkwell Blog.

Barefoot by Elin HilderbrandBarefoot
By Elin Hilderbrand
Little Brown and Company, $24.99
Another perfect beach read from the bestselling author of The Love Season. Its summer on Nantucket, and as the season begins, three women arrive at the local airport, observed by Josh, a local boy home from college. They're all trying to escape their problems, when Josh enters their lives and becomes a confidant and, eventually, something more. What a perfect summer pleasure Elin Hilderbrand provides..." - Nancy Thayer, author of The Hot Flash Club

Soaring With Fidel by David GessnerSoaring With FidelBy David Gessner
Beacon Press, $24.95
An irreverent, absorbing, and insightful tale of one man' s adventures following the great 7,000-mile osprey migration across two continents. One September, after writing about ospreys on Cape Cod for years, David Gessner impulsively decided to follow the birds on their annual migration. Each fall these graceful raptors, with wingspans of up to six feet, cruise over the eastern United States, then soar over Cuba and winter in South America, returning north with the spring. In 2004, Gessner went along for the ride, traveling illegally into the mountains of Cuba and deep into Venezuela as he competed with the crew of a BBC documentary to be the first to follow the full migration, trailing the birds by car, boat, foot, and plane. He called his favorite osprey Fidel.
Soaring with Fidel is about the exhilaration of migration, but it is also a deeper meditation on the nature of human happiness. In describing the thrill of travel, the antics of these swashbuckling birds, and the cast of characters he meets (and drinks with) along the way- including scientists, students, tour guides, and an online group of birders- Gessner gives us a profound lesson in the importance of following what you love.
"From the tidal marshes of Cape Cod to jungle lakes in Venezuela, David Gessner lets nothing- not language barriers, not empty pockets, not steely-eyed Cuban bureaucrats or American embargoes- stop him from following the migration of the osprey. Just reckless enough to be lucky, Gessner wins over everyone he meets. Soaring with Fidel has wings."
- Scott Weidensaul, author of Living on the Wind

Visit David Gessner's website for more about his books.

The Lavender Hour
By Anne D. LeClaire
Ballantine, $13.95
Downsized from her teaching job, Jessie longs for a sense of renewal and decides to spend a year on Cape Cod, seeking to be cleansed by rushing ocean waters and comforted by the lavender hues of the setting sun. While there she volunteers with a local hospice program, where she meets Luke, a once proud fisherman whose life and body have been ravaged by cancer. Jessie' s presence is a great help to Luke' s mother, who has moved in to take care of her son.
After initial misgivings Jessie and Luke forge a deep friendship, and the former teacher is surprised to find herself opening up about her life, the loss of her father when she was a girl, her often difficult relationship with her mother, and her own battle with illness. When Luke makes a critical request of his new friend, Jessie must look deep within herself for an answer, knowing that her actions will have far-reaching effects on Luke' s family and forever change the bonds within her own.

Anne has many insights about the writing process. Visit her website to read more.