Synopses & Reviews
Six years ago, Polly Birdswelldrinking and deeply unhappymade a decision that changed her life forever. Believing she could spare her young daughter a legacy of self-destruction, she left her husband and child and moved north to a coastal town in Maine. There, close to Bride Island, the beloved family retreat she considers her true home, she set about getting sober and remaking her life. Now Polly desperately wants seven-year-old Monroe back and is determined to proveto herself especiallyshes a stable and loving mother. At the same time, a sudden decision to sell Bride Island unleashes a wave of family greed that endangers the islands future. As Polly and her siblings try to claim ownership of what they love, they discover some things can never truly be owned, and Polly must again ask herself what shes willing to relinquish. Beautifully written and emotionally complex, Bride Island is a poignant debut novel about love, motherhood, and the haunting and sometimes conflicting pulls of family and the places that shape us.
"'Polly Birdswell has been sober for four years and deems herself fit to regain custody of seven-year-old Monroe, whom she left as a baby, but her ex-husband disagrees. In addition to fighting for Monroe, Polly also wants the Maine island home of childhood vacations and the sacred ground where her brother died that her hard-drinking stepfather wants to sell. Polly's obsession with the island becomes as tiresome as the uninspired prose. Though novels of abandoned daughters may abound, stories from the mother's perspective are less common; unfortunately, the issue is hardly explored and what could have been provocative falls flat. Polly is repeatedly asked how she could have given up Monroe, but Enders fails to grasp the opportunity to give an insightful answer. Efforts to signify the island as a place of healing and salvation are heartfelt, but dull characters mired in a plodding plot defeat a promising concept. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Beautifully written and emotionally complex, "Bride Island" offers a poignant debut novel about love, motherhood, and the haunting and sometimes conflicting pulls of family and place.
About the Author
ALEXANDRA END:ERS has published short stories in BOMB Magazine, Hunger Mountain, and Critical Quarterly, and was a finalist for the Rolex Mentor/Protégé Program with Toni Morrison. She has an MFA in fiction from Vermont College and has written articles for Martha Stewart Living, Elle, Food & Wine, House & Home, and Art & Antiques.