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Pocketful of Namesby Joe Coomer
Synopses & Reviews
“Coomer writes so well, with such freshness and authenticity, that we hate to put the book down.” —The Boston Globe
The first thing Hannah said to the dog: “I dont know if theres enough room for you on this island. Im already here.”
Inhabiting an island off the coast of Maine left to her by her great-uncle Arno, Hannah finds her life as a dedicated and solitary artist rudely interrupted one summer when a dog, matted with feathers and seaweed, arrives with the tide. The dog quickly endears himself and easily adapts to Hannahs habits, but he is only the first in a series of unexpected visitors. He is soon followed by a teenager running from an abusive father, a half sister in trouble, a mainland family in need, and a trapped whale. Now in the midst of a community that depends on her for support and love, Hannah faces new emotional challenges as family secrets are uncovered, each one more alarming than the next.
In his latest novel, Joe Coomer offers the rugged yet stunning beauty of Maine and the lobstermen and their families who are tethered to the sea for survival. Pocketful of Names is a deeply human tale about the unpredictability of nature, art, family, and whatever else washes up on the shore.
"Coomer (One Vacant Chair) weighs solitude against companionship and explores how 'people can interfere with the smooth running of your life' in this artfully crafted but long-winded novel. Hannah Bryant, 34, is a successful artist living and painting on a rocky Maine isle. With her parents dead and her younger half-sister, Emily, in a strict religious order, her closest relative had been her great-uncle Arno, with whom she'd spent several summers on Ten Acres No Nine Island, hers when he died. Hannah relishes her seclusion and has 'kept the island inviolable,' with the exception of someone who's been mysteriously digging holes and a dog, Driftwood, who has washed ashore. When Emily writes to her about a boy in trouble who needs a place to hide, Hannah's staunchly guarded privacy begins to crumble. When more people arrive, they open closets to reveal all sorts of skeletons — about Arno's drug business and Hannah's art sales in particular — but, mired in detail and stretched across too many pages, the surprises may not be enough to sustain the reader interest. Coomer is a graceful writer, though, conveying natural beauty and emotional turmoil with equal polish. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Hannah's life is rudely interrupted one summer when a dog arrives with the tide. He is soon followed by a teenage runaway, a mainland family in need, and a trapped whale. Now Hannah faces new emotional challenges as alarming family secrets are uncovered.
"Coomer is clearly an author of serious talent." --The Washington Post Book World
Inhabiting an island off the coast of Maine left to her by her great-uncle Arno, Hannah finds her life as a dedicated and solitary artist rudely interrupted one summer when a dog, matted with feathers and seaweed, arrives with the tide. He is only the first of a series of unexpected visitors and is soon followed by a teenager running from an abusive father, a half sister in trouble, a mainland family, and a forlorn trapped whale. In the engrossing drama that unfolds, Hannah's love of her island solitude competes with her instinctive compassion for others.
In this booksellers' favorite and two-time Book Sense pick, now available in paperback, Joe Coomer offers the rugged yet stunning beauty of Maine and the lobstermen and their families who are dependent on the sea for survival. Pocketful of Names is a deeply human tale about the unpredictability of nature, art, family, and the flotsam and jetsam that comprise our lives.
About the Author
Joe Coomer is the author of several novels, most recently One Vacant Chair. He lives in Texas, where he is an antiques dealer, and Maine, where he restores historic homes and boats.
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