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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review from Discover Great New Writers
Ken McAlpine decided he wanted to see the beaches, islands, resorts towns and byways of the East Coast -- but not the way most people see them: jammed with vacationers during the peak season. Instead, he packed up his van with the essentials and began a journey from Florida to Maine as winter began its descent.
Searching for the truth beneath the touristy bric-a-brac, McAlpine talks to those who've made these coastal towns their home for generations. Along the way, as sand is covered with snow and fishing vessels become virtual ice-cutters, he meets a decidedly colorful cast of salty characters and hears his share of fish tales. Mostly though, he is awestruck by the beauty of the shore in winter and charmed by the resourceful, tough, and refreshingly honest people whose lives return to normal once the tourists leave.
McAlpine explores the land, the people, and their work: a couple who dedicate their lives to saving coral reefs; a recluse who makes camp in a shadowy inlet, keeping the world at bay but pointing with pride to his tiny American flag. The stalwart spirit of the people in these beach towns inspires -- for these are the residents of an America where the importance of history and a respect for habitat far outweigh any interest in a life of transience. (Fall 2004 Selection)