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Island Apart Hardcover – June 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765332388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765332387
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,797,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Rich in character, incident, and mouthwatering food. A triumphant fictional debut.”
—William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Cape Cod and City of Dreams
 

“Much more than a promising first novel by a formidably talented writer; it is a literary achievement of the first order… a heartfelt, redemptive, and irresistible novel. Raichlen handles this complex tale of romance, family, illness, and dark secrets with intelligence, grace, and abiding tenderness.”

—John Dufresne, author of Requiem, Mass 

 

“A quirky, surprising, and poignant romance, with a wonderful voice all its own.  Readers beware: the food in this novel will leave you ravenous.”

—Barbara D'Amato, Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Other Eyes

 

“Steven Raichlen has written a magical novel about a magical place.  He deftly captures the subtleties, oddities, and beguiling charm of Martha's Vineyard and Chappaquiddick. Take this literary ferry.  You'll enjoy your stay.”

—Lucia St. Clair Robson, New York Times bestselling author of Last Train from Cuernavaca, winner of the Spur Award

 

“Steven Raichlen presents a kaleidoscope of personalities with insight and compassion, while reminding us that good food, prepared with love, may not heal all wounds, but it can't hurt and it often helps. A splendid beach read!”

—Mary Doria Russell, Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of Thread of Grace and Doc

 

“For the millions who know Steven Raichlen as the last word on barbecue, it might come as a surprise to discover that he has written a beautifully wrought, highly nuanced novel set amidst the distinctive landscape of Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts.   What won’t surprise anyone, though, is that central to the compelling narrative of Island Apart is the redemptive power of food and a mindfully prepared meal.  Claire Doheney, healing from a serious illness at a friend’s oceanfront mansion, meets an enigmatic character known locally as the Hermit, and as unlikely as it might seem to both of them, sparks begin to fly over their shared passion for cooking, and love ensues.  All of this is threatened when Claire unravels the secret of the Hermit’s strange circumstances.  Raichlen has moved deftly into the world of fiction, and I, for one, can’t wait for his next creation!”

—Mitchell Kaplan, Founder and owner of Books & Books, Florida, New York, Cayman Islands

 

“I didn't want to put it down.  I was so intrigued by the Hermit—couldn't wait to find out what his story was and how the relationship would develop.   I loved all of the history and island lore; I adored the food theme and scenes throughout the book.   I also love the fact that there's a lot to talk about with this book, and that makes it good fodder for book clubs.  I can't wait to have Island Apart in the store.”

—Sandy Francis, co-owner of The Bookstore in The Grove, Miami, Florida 

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.

More About the Author

Steven Raichlen is a multi-award winning author, journalist, television host, and now novelist. His books include the international blockbusters The Barbecue Bible and How to Grill and the New York Times bestselling Planet Barbecue. His new novel, Island Apart, tells a story of love, loss, redemption and really good food set on Martha's Vineyard. Translated into 15 languages, Raichlen's books have won 5 James Beard Awards and 3 IACP-Julia Child Awards and have sold more than 4 million copies. Raichlen also hosts the popular TV shows, Primal Grill and Barbecue University on PBS, and a French language show called Le Maitre du Grill. He lives and writes in Coconut Grove, Florida, and on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

I loved the main characters and their "stories".
Melodie
Author Steven Raichlen offers a delicious slice of the pie that is Martha's Vineyard in "Island Apart".
Virginia Campbell
Both of the main characters have gone through true, extreme tragedy.
K. Davis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tracy F. VINE VOICE on May 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you aren't a big fan of Nicholas Sparks, you're not likely going to enjoy Island Apart. Chef Steven Raichlen's debut work of fiction shares the story of Claire Doheney. Claire is undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Her husband is having affairs with much younger women and has just lost his job as a professor after having sexual relations with students. When he insists that he's moving back to their shared apartment, Claire learns that she's helpless to stop him. She opts to take up her best friend's offer and becomes the live-in caretaker for her friend's house on Chappaquiddick Island. The setting is perfect for Claire's recuperation and her job as an editor.

Known by locals as "the Hermit," a stranger also lives in solitude on the island. After a freak accident brings Claire into his life, the pair soon start communication through baked and jarred goods. Soon, Claire and the Hermit fall in love. There are secrets, however, that could destroy the very foundations of their relationship.

I admit to being a sucker for the Nicholas Sparks-type tearjerker. Therefore, there was a lot I loved in Island Apart. There were also things I didn't feel fit perfectly, hence why I can't say it's the "perfect read." A large portion of the story focuses on the foods Claire and the Hermit make. There's also a lot of focus on the book Claire is currently editing, a biography about Wilhelm Reich. I understand the importance of that part of the novel, but I can't say I liked it.

The romance was the key focus for me. Claire and the Hermit both harbor wounds and watching them overcome past pain was exactly what this romantic at heart loved. All in all, I'm pretty impressed with Raichlen's debut.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ann C. Paine on November 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book grabbed me in the beginning. The characters were interesting and some a bit mysterious. The use of food and cooking added a lot to the story line and character development. Unfortunately, when the two main characters got together, the "hermit" seemed to cave in and become quite weak and uninteresting. Claire's health battle seemed to be skimmed over rather than used to further develop their relationship. Then the book was over with everything tied up neatly - a bit too neatly. So, an okay read with nice island descriptions.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Bell VINE VOICE on June 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I thoroughly enjoyed how the history of Chappaquiddick and snippets from the life of Wilhelm Reich were woven into this story about Claire and "The Hermit."

I also liked the mellow mood. In spite of a few conflicts among some of the characters, the overall mood left me feeling tranquil and peaceful. Perhaps that was partly because of the many descriptions of foraging for food or preparing meals.

Island Apart would be a wonderful book to read at any beach; possibly even more meaningful if one were vacationing on Martha's Vineyard (although the author warns against visiting Chappaquiddick in the afterword).

There is a bibliography at the back listing book titles about the following subjects: History of Chappaquiddick and Martha's Vineyard, Breast Cancer, Wild Plants, William Reich, Voyage of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold aboard the ship "Concord" in 1602, and a cookbook (The Blue Strawberry Cookbook). All of these subjects were integral to the plot (to one degree or another) and all added to the richness of this novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book really surprised me. I found myself enjoying it a lot despite its being the type of book I don't usually read. It reads like a combination of the best of Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult, Susan Shreve and Elizabeth Berg. it is a love story and a tragedy, a perfect beach or airplane read. It goes fast and catches the reader in its highly emotive telling.

The novel begins, "This is the story of a man who suffered great hurt and came to the island to find safety, seclusion and solace. It's also about a woman who lost nearly everything - only to find herself. This is the story of Claire and the Hermit of Chappaquiddick." The Hermit is a man rarely seen on the island. He never makes eye contact with others and tries to render himself invisible. Claire is a book editor recuperating from a rigorous trial of chemotherapy for breast cancer. Her close friends have a home on the island and loan it to her for the winter to do her editing work.

Claire is editing a biography of Wilhelm Reich, the maker of the Orgone box and the psychoanalyst behind orgone therapy. The novel goes into the story of Wilhelm Reich's life in great detail, too much detail as far as I'm concerned. Claire's husband has just left her. He lost his job at Barnard for having affairs with several students there and is now without work. He is trying to sue Claire for alimony. Claire's husband left her on the same day that she found out she had breast cancer. As the book starts, Claire is finishing up her rounds of chemotherapy for a very voracious cancer. She is trying to gain her strength and heal.

While riding her bike on the island, she gets into an accident and the hermit finds her unconscious on the side of the road.
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