Fire Island

Fire Island

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by John Stevens
     
 

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"This was the smell of a new nation -- a free, proud, and hard-working people. It was the smell of burgeoning confidence, of optimism, of enterprise. It seemed as if the very air shimmered with promise." So thought Moses Howland Grinnell as he walked up the Street of Ships in Lower Manhattan on the morning of November 23rd, 1857. Just days later, one of his prized…  See more details below

Overview

"This was the smell of a new nation -- a free, proud, and hard-working people. It was the smell of burgeoning confidence, of optimism, of enterprise. It seemed as if the very air shimmered with promise." So thought Moses Howland Grinnell as he walked up the Street of Ships in Lower Manhattan on the morning of November 23rd, 1857. Just days later, one of his prized vessels, Young America, returning from a trading voyage to China, wrecked off the coast of Fire Island. This shipwreck changed forever the life of the captain of the vessel William Trask. He lost his son, his crew, and one of his legs, but it also set him on a strange new course in his life that he could never have guessed. Fire Island tells the story of Trask, Grinnell and a host of other characters from the time in a gripping new historical novel from author John J. Stevens. Real historical facts and authentic people from the past are interwoven here with fictional people and events, in a beautifully-written tale of historical drama. It is a dramatic and well-written tale from the Age of Sail that artfully portrays the character of people who helped to make America what it was then, and what it is today. The story takes place from November 1857 to November 1858 on Fire Island, a barrier beach off the coast of Long Island, New York, and in lower Manhattan. A 10-mile stretch of ocean just off Fire Island became known as Wreck Valley because of the frequency of shipwrecks that occurred there. Numerous lives, ships and cargo were lost in these wrecks so close to shore. Volunteer humanitarian societies were formed to rescue and comfort survivors of shipwrecks, and the families of those who were lost. Out of those societies grew the United States Lifesaving Service, an early federal effort to formalize these volunteers into a type of civil service, much like today's fire-fighting companies. The "surfmen" were employed from October to May each year, the storm season. They performed drills, walked a "beach watch" at night, and, when called upon, executed dramatic rescues of shipwreck survivors, often in the midst of the most ferocious storms. These are the times and the people who come alive on the pages of Fire Island on an epic scale. It is a story in which you will get happily lost.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940011900235
Publisher:
Bullfrog Communications
Publication date:
09/28/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
250
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

John J. Stevens loves telling stories about the waterfront.

He is the Writer – Director of three public television documenaries:

Freedom’s Glory: The Restoration of the Little Jennie, the story of one man’s obsessive quest to restore the Chesapeake Bay oyster dredger, Little Jennie;

How Sound is Long Island Sound? about the ecological condition of Long Island Sound;

Alive in An Urban Harbor, about the revival of species in New York Harbor.

A Long Island native, Stevens currently lives a five-minute drive from where he was born. He is the Founder and President of Bullfrog Communications, Inc. a digital communications company.

Fire Island is his first novel.

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