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Cape Cod

Cape Cod

4.5 13
by William Martin

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Originally brought to America's shores by the Mayflower, two families unearth their family skeletons--which have lain buried in Cape history for more than 200 years.


Originally brought to America's shores by the Mayflower, two families unearth their family skeletons--which have lain buried in Cape history for more than 200 years.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a sweeping historical saga packed with history and incident, Martin ( Back Bay ) follows two intertwined yet bitterly antagonistic families from their Pilgrim origins to the present day. On board the Mayflower, sanctimonious church elder Ezra Bigelow and whaler Jack Hilyard, who defies the Pilgrims' rules of piety and obedience, take an immediate and intense dislike to each other. An observant mariner on board ship keeps a detailed log and chronicles a shocking incident that would bring shame and dishonor upon the Bigelow family if it were made known. The log is lost, but its trail gleams like a golden thread through the narrative, and, as the ever-wealthier Bigelows and the rakish Hilyards clash bitterly over the years (particularly over a prime piece of Cape Cod shoreline called Jack's Island that is continually changing hands), the log emerges briefly now and then to inspire blackmail and unease. After Martin's less than reverent look at our Pilgrim forefathers, he packs the narrative with abundant adultery, several massacres, pirateering, slave-trading and rum-running. In the current generation, Geoff Hilyard is trying to save his part of Jack's Island from avaricious Bigelow developers. To stave off financial ruin, he is searching for the elusive Mayflower log, now an enormously valuable historical document. Martin gives Michener a run for his money with this rousing tale. 75,000 first printing; $120,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates; author tour. (Mar.)

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
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Hachette Digital, Inc.
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2 MB

Meet the Author

William Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, an award-winning PBS documentary, and a cult classic horror movie, too. His first novel, Back Bay, introduced treasure hunting hero Peter Fallon, who has now appeared in five novels, and spent fourteen weeks on the Times list. SInce then Martin has been telling stories of the great and the anonymous in American history, from the Pilgrims to 9/11. His novels, including Cape Cod, Annapolis, City of Dreams, and The Lincoln Letter, have established him as "a storyteller whose smoothness equals his ambition" (Publisher's Weekly). He lives near Boston with his wife and has three grown children. In 2005, he was the recipient of the prestigious New England Book Award, given to "an author whose body of work stands as a significant contribution to the culture of the region."

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Cape Cod 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
ReadingGramma More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, this book isn't very interesting to read. It is interesting for the Cape Cod history content though. It is set in more than one time period. The period of today was hard for me to follow and there are some detailed sexual parts that didn't need to be in the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The fictional device of a centuries-long conflict between two families is nothing new, but William Martin brings great fun to the concept. The book traces the history of the upright (but oft unscrupulous) Bigelows and the scrappy Hilyards, from their landing on the Mayflower to the present time. At the heart of the story is the conflict between the 'progress' of development on Cape Cod and the importance of preserving its natural beauty. A rousing and readable tale that moves back and forth from history to the present, this is never a dull book.
LK_Hunsaker More than 1 year ago
Why is William Martin not a bigger name in the book world? I found Cape Cod at a library sale and picked it up for almost nothing, which turned out to be an even bigger bargain than I expected. This is a "wow" story. Starting with the docking of the Mayflower and running through to the mid Eighties, Cape Cod follows the line of two families already divided by thought and principles as they waited to be able to land and then as they settled to raise generations of new Americans. The story is told intricately and thoroughly with many, many very real characters and real events mixed into the fiction well enough it would be easy to believe every bit of the story actually happened. It is easy to get lost in so many characters, but the genealogy line at the beginning can help that (if you remember it's there). It's a long epic read, but very well worth the time. I highly recommend it to all Americans and to anyone who wants to better understand America's beginnings. History does, indeed, repeat itself and echo from its past. from page 317: But James Otis carried the day, beginning straight after dinner and concluding at six o'clock by the chime of the Old South bell. From exordium to peroration, his voice never faltered, the stentorian strength of it seeming to carry all the way to Cape Cod. He began by proclaiming, "I am determined, to my DYING DAY, to oppose, with all the powers and faculties God has given me, all such instruments of slavery on the one hand and villainy on the other as this Writ of Assistance is." He concluded with the audience wrapt in silence. "Let the consequences be what they will, I am determined to proceed and to the call of my country am ready to sacrifice estate, health, ease, applause, and even life. The patriot and hero will do ever thus. And if brought to the trial, it will then be known how far I can reduce to practice principles which I know to be founded in truth." --- The Writs of Assistance gave England the right to search and seize the colonists' property with no warrant as part of a crackdown on trade regulations. --
LW13341 More than 1 year ago
A thick, satisfying read...historical novels are some of my favorites and this belongs in my top ten.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loved it
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