Island Apart

Island Apart

by Steven Raichlen


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Island Apart by Steven Raichlen

From the celebrated author of Planet Barbecue and How to Grill comes a surprising story of love, loss, redemption, and really good food.

Claire Doheney, recovering from a serious illness, agrees to house-sit in an oceanfront mansion on Chappaquiddick island in Martha's Vineyard. The New York book editor hopes to find solace, strength, and sufficient calm to finish her biography of the iconoclastic psychotherapist, Wilhelm Reich.

The last thing she expects to find is love.

Then she meets a mysterious man the locals call the Hermit. No one knows his real name or where he lives. To their mutual surprise, Claire and the stranger discover that they share a passion for cooking that soon sparks something more.

But Claire's new friend has a terrible secret that threatens to drive them apart forever. The clock is ticking. Can Claire let love into her life once more before it's too late?

Told by a New York Times bestselling author and international TV host with a keen eye for Chappaquiddick's extraordinary natural beauty, Island Apart has it all—romance, history, travel, crime, lovemaking of exquisite intensity, and cooking scenes so vivid, they'll make your taste buds ache with hunger. Steven Raichlen's novel is a smart love story—not to mention a terrific beach read. Think The Bridges of Madison County with better food.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765336910
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

STEVEN RAICHLEN is a multi-award-winning author, journalist, and television host. His twenty-nine books include the international blockbusters The Barbecue Bible, How to Grill, and the New York Times bestselling Planet Barbecue. His books have won five James Beard Awards and have been translated into 16 languages. Island Apart is his first novel. A former Watson Foundation Fellow with a degree in French literature, Raichlen hosts Primal Grill and Barbecue University on PBS and the French language TV show Le Maitre du Grill. He has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress and has appeared frequently on National Public Radio and the Today show. He and his wife, Barbara, divide their time between Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, and Coconut Grove, Florida.

Read an Excerpt

Island Apart

By Steven Raichlen

Forge Books

Copyright © 2012 Steven Raichlen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780765332387

the hermit of chappaquiddick
No one knew his name. Everyone called him the Hermit. He had lived on Chappaquiddick Island for as long as most people could remember. Not that anyone could recall precisely when he had arrived. Perhaps he rode in on the tidal wave of summer folk, which swells the population of Martha’s Vineyard from fifteen thousand year-round residents to more than a hundred thousand in August.
He certainly didn’t look like the typical beachgoer who rode the Chappaquiddick ferry. His wild silvery-gray hair tumbled past his shoulders. A beard as wavy as eelgrass plunged halfway down his chest. The man wore a faded flannel shirt—even in summer—and his jeans had been mended so often, you couldn’t make out where the denim ended and the patches began. His feet were clad in lug boots—even in July. As for the color of his eyes, no one could tell, for he always kept them downcast.
The man boarded the ferry as he always did—a few steps behind the other passengers. He placed his ticket on the binnacle rather than handing it directly to the deckhand. His orange ticket identified him as a year-rounder, but no ferry captain could quite recall selling him a commuter book. The tourists gathered at the front of the boat—a pastel swirl of Lilly Pulitzer and Polo—with sunburns that turned pale New England flesh the electric orange of boiled lobsters. The Hermit stood at the stern, his faded clothes blown by the wind, an island unto himself.
If the Hermit had a car, the ferry captains had never seen it. Nor a bicycle or moped. Invariably, he would arrive at and depart from the ferry landing on foot, a worn backpack patched with duct tape over his shoulder. He’d walk Chappaquiddick Road—the one paved road, the only paved road on the island—in a slow loping gait, oblivious of the joggers and cyclists, unhurried as if lost in thought.
Despite his unvarying route, no one could say for certain exactly where the man lived. Not the ferry captains. Not the FedEx driver or Angie, who delivers the mail in a cherry red Jeep. Not the young woman who runs the tiny Chappy store, the island’s sole retail business, open only in July and August. Not even Gerry Jeffers, rumored to be the last surviving Wampanoag Indian on Chappaquiddick.
This uncertainty as to the Hermit’s domicile was remarkable on two accounts: first because Chappaquiddick is such a small community—fewer than seventy families live here year-round. And second, because everyone on Chappaquiddick obsesses about real estate—whether or not he or she would admit it. Chappaquiddickers are keenly aware of who owns each parcel of land and deeply paranoid that the wrong person will buy the acreage adjacent to theirs. After all, you don’t move to an island with three-acre zoning—without a single hotel or restaurant—unless you want to maintain a healthy distance from your neighbors.
So who first called him the Hermit of Chappaquiddick? Perhaps it was Patrick, a twenty-year veteran of the Chappy ferry. Patrick was the quietest of the captains who piloted the On Time II and On Time III—a pair of green and white barges scarcely big enough to carry three cars and assorted bicycles and foot passengers across the 527-foot channel of water that separates Chappaquiddick Island from Edgartown and the rest of Martha’s Vineyard. Patrick’s mild demeanor hid a wicked sense of humor. He had a nickname for everyone who took the ferry on a more or less regular basis, and no one escaped his wit.
If there was a question as to who coined the Hermit’s nickname, there was no doubt as to why. He never attended Chappy Island Association meetings or ice cream socials at the Community Center. He never appeared at Cleanup Day at the Mytoi Japanese Garden or participated in the Derby—the fishing competition that paralyzes Martha’s Vineyard in the waning days of September. He never showed up at the celebrity-studded Possible Dreams Auction or at the July Fourth parade down Edgartown’s Main Street. The fact is, in the ten or fifteen years the Hermit had lived on the island, he had never been seen in the company of another human being.
Naturally, no one knew what the man did for a living. You might see him with a wire clam basket in Caleb’s Pond from time to time, or with a fishing rod at the Gut. Or wading in the shallow waters of Drunkard’s Cove—site of a Martha’s Vineyard bootleg operation during Prohibition—to gather periwinkles and scungilli. He owned a skiff, which he sometimes rowed on Cape Poge Bay. Early mornings in July, you might see him picking blueberries in the meadow at Wasque Point. But he didn’t seem to be a commercial fisherman, and no one had ever seen him bring produce—either foraged or cultivated—to the local farmers’ market.
When the Hermit felt sociable—that is, when he was willing to run the risk of encountering other people—he gigged for squid off the ferry dock late at night or caught crabs with a hoop net baited with fish scraps. Most often, he kept to himself. He’d build simple weirs in Chappaquiddick’s salt marshes to catch eels that slithered liked sea snakes. He had set up a series of sluices and pans in a neglected corner of Poucha Pond, where he evaporated seawater into salt crystals. No one on the island had any inkling of the latter activity, for despite his ungainly appearance, the Hermit possessed a singular ability to blend into the landscape.
On the rare times when spoken to—“Nice weather” or “How’s it going?”—he responded in such a low voice and in such vague terms, you had the impression you were talking to yourself. Not that anyone was aware of these evasions, for the Hermit did them in such an unassuming manner, no one paid them any heed.
The truth is that the Hermit managed to achieve the ultimate goal of any recluse. Thanks to his perpetually hunched shoulders and perennially downcast gaze, even his fellow Chappaquiddickers had long since ceased noticing him.
If you’re quiet and self-effacing enough, you become invisible—perhaps even to yourself.

Copyright © 2012 by Steven Raichlen


Excerpted from Island Apart by Steven Raichlen Copyright © 2012 by Steven Raichlen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Island Apart 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
iowashort More than 1 year ago
This is a book for a lazy summer day read. Nothing to really get your interest up, but still a fairly good read. He does better cookbooks though. I would not read another novel by him, unless I got it at a library or given to me.
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
Lazy day beach books should be easy, fast reads with a great location and good story lines. You can just smell and taste the salty sea air. ISLAND APART is that great lazy day beach book, perfect for a sunny afternoon at your favorite beach, a fast read with plenty of joy and heartbreak. Our main characters, Claire and the Hermit, are moving forward through their life experiences of death, divorce, betrayal, and fatal illness to find the strength to love again. It is a gripping, passionate and compelling story about understanding, compassion and friendship.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finishes packing and worriedly drives owen and her to folkin res one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do you sell pokemon?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Toru grabs a cart and runs it down an aisle, then jumps on it and manuvers it until it starts to slow down. Then he jumps off, runs it again, and gets back on. He continues this until the supermarket is about to open, then returns the cart, hides as some employees enter, and slips out safely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walked in and looked around for a new pair of boots... also bout a pair and a few kitty treats
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey,is kloe,rose,or adicated reader?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago