A beautiful debut set around the creation of the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquariumand the last days of John Steinbeck's Cannery Row
In 1940, fifteen year-old Margot Fiske arrives on the shores of Monterey Bay with her eccentric entrepreneur father. Margot has been her father's apprentice all over the world, until an accident in Monterey's tide pools drives them apart and plunges her head-first into the mayhem of John Steinbeck's Cannery Row.
Steinbeck is hiding out from his burgeoning fame at the raucous lab of Ed Ricketts, the biologist known as Doc in Cannery Row. Ricketts, a charismatic bohemian, quickly becomes the object of Margot's fascination. Despite Steinbeck's protests and her father's misgivings, she wrangles a job as Ricketts's sketch artist and begins drawing the strange and wonderful sea creatures he pulls from the waters of the bay.
Unbeknownst to Margot, her father is also working with Ricketts. He is soliciting the biologist's advice on his most ambitious and controversial project to date: the transformation of the Row's largest cannery into an aquarium. When Margot begins an affair with Ricketts, she sets in motion a chain of events that will affect not just the two of them, but the future of Monterey as well.
Alternating between past and present, Monterey Bay explores histories both imagined and actual to create an unforgettable portrait of an exceptional woman, a world-famous aquarium, and the beloved town they both call home.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Lindsay Hatton is a graduate of Williams College. She holds an MFA from the Creative Writing Program at New York University. She currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but was born and raised in Monterey, California, where she spent many fascinating and formative summers working behind the scenes at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Read an Excerpt
***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***
Copyright © 2016 Lindsay Hatton
When he’s fifty years dead, she dreams she’s gone back. Back to the small white house in the neighborhood that splits the difference between Monterey and Pacific Grove, back to the streets where the cannery workers used to live. She dreams of rising from the horsehair sofa in that bruised hour when the sky is still dark and the bay is still black. She dreams of the place where the old Monterey still exists, or at least the Monterey that’s found its way into stories: the last quarter mile of the bike trail—the one that starts in Seaside and then moves up slightly from the coastline before running parallel to Cannery Row—where there’s an odd, untended bit of land marked with the broken shell of an old steel storage cylinder. And here, in the weeds and ice plants, in the rusty metal that smells salty in the sun and bloody in the fog, she dreams of everything that has slipped away, everything that will never come back.
Then she dreams of the descent. Like the cannery workers before her, she aims for the door of a cannery or, better yet, the door of his lab. Instead, she arrives at the aquarium. Inside, it is empty: the barometric dead zone before the rush of the coming crowds, the air abuzz with the clean, nervous smell of salt. She lets the kelp crabs pinch her on purpose. She siphons the pistol shrimp exhibit and leaves her lips on the tube for a second too long so that some of the ocean gets in her mouth. She picks parasites from the accordion folds of a leopard shark’s gills and wonders, for what seems like the millionth time, if breathing water is better than breathing air. She feeds the sea nettles a cup of bright green rotifers and marvels at the orange embrace of the world’s most elegant killer. She sees something hovering in the distance, huge and terrible and tentacled and white.
And, as she wakes, she remembers three things he once tried to teach her.
First, that human blood contains the exact same liquid-to-salt ratio as the ocean.
Second, that murder can be necessary.
Third, that living in a tank is exactly like being in love.