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Osprey Islandby Thisbe Nissen
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of The Good People of New York ("Fabulous . . . Wonderfully satisfying . . . This is a voice I'd follow anywhere" --Elinor Lipman), a book about summer, that most incandescent and evanescent season — about lazy days, fleeting love, and tempers that flare in the heat.
Very few people ever leave the tight-knit community of year-rounders on Osprey Island, and fewer yet come back. Suzy Chizek does, though, with her young daughter in tow; a single mother, she comes home in the summer of 1988 to help her father run his hotel, the Lodge. Roddy Jacobs returns to work at the Lodge, too, after a mysterious period of drifting in the wake of the Vietnam War. Separated since high school, Suzy and Roddy cannot help but come together, unsure whether they are in love or simply using each other, and the Island, as an escape from the pressures and disappointments of mainland life.
Just before the start of the season, the Lodge's troubled housekeeper dies in a suspicious fire, shattering the Island's equilibrium. Lorna had protected her young son, affectionately nicknamed Squee, from the rages of her alcoholic husband, Lance. When Squee, in his grief and panic, runs away from both his father's ramshackle home and his grandparents, he seeks out Roddy and Suzy, whom he implicitly trusts, bringing the tentative lovers into conflict with volatile Lance. Roddy's mother, the controversial and independent Eden, seems to know more Island secrets than anyone. She loves Squee with motherly intensity, but her righteous defense of him may prove more dangerous than helpful.
Can the community save Squee from his father, the very person who is meant to take care of him? Can a town that is fueled by secrets expose itself to responsibility? Is it brave or foolish to leave the familiarity of Osprey Island?
In the uniquely ephemeral atmosphere of a summer resort, Thisbe Nissen unfolds an ever-deepening story of ancient loyalties and betrayals, while showcasing the qualities that readers have come to expect from her: exuberant wit, fierce intelligence, and unforgettable warmth and compassion. An ambitious, richly satisfying novel of indelible power and beauty.
From the Hardcover edition.
Returning to her island home community to help her father run the family lodge, Suzy Chizek explores her lingering feelings for Vietnam veteran Roddy Jacobs during a time that is marked by a tragic fire and the rescue of a young boy from the destructive nature of his alcoholic father. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
As summer begins on Osprey Island, preparations at the Lodge — the island’s one and only hotel — are underway for the busy season. On maintenance and housekeeping there’s Lance and Lorna Squire, Osprey locals and raging drinkers; and their irrepressible son Squee. There are college boys to wait tables and Irish girls to clean rooms. And a few unusual returnees, too: Suzy Chizek, single mom and daughter of the Lodge’s owners, who’s looking for a parentally funded vacation; and Roddy Jacobs, another former local, who has come back after a mysterious twenty-year absence.
But when tragedy strikes, dark secrets explode, dividing the island community over the fate of a young boy suddenly more vulnerable to his violent father than ever. In the uniquely ephemeral atmosphere of a summer resort, Thisbe Nissen unfolds, with charecteristic warmth and charm, an ever-deepening story of lost loves and found romance, of loyalties and betrayals; and of lingering–sometimes fleeting–joy.
About the Author
Thisbe Nissen is a graduate of Oberlin College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and she is a former James Michener Fellow. A native New Yorker, she now lives, writes, gardens, and collages in Iowa City, Iowa.
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