From Publishers Weekly
In Ducharme's strong debut, 17-year-old Abigail Sinclair arrives at the Outer Banks with her family, whose fortunes are on the wane after the defeat of the South in the Civil War. Abigail is being courted by a doctor's son, the foppish Hector Newman, and though she knows a marriage to him will please her family, she finds is drawn to a local fisherman, Benjamin Whimble, whom she is teaching to read and write. As her attraction to Whimble grows, she realizes what's important to her and what she is willing to fight for when revelations about her father complicate her relationships. Characters are not terribly complex—Ben is a quintessential earthy blue-collar hero, and Hector an overprivileged dandy with a controlling streak—but Abigail is a good heroine. Ducharme's extensive use of dialect will enrich the experience of some readers and irritate others, but despite its flaws, this novel brings to life the difficult and uncertain world of Reconstruction North Carolina with a romantic but unsympathetic eye. (June)
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“First novelist Ducharme has laced her novel with the sounds and the smells of the North Carolina shoreline. Racism and Southern tradition run along parallel paths in this affecting debut, where gentlemen can be less than honorable and enslavement doesn’t always involve chains.”—Library Journal
“Diann Ducharme gives us a beautiful sense of this place by the sea, of a country in conflict, of death and redemption, and of new love.” Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude & Camille
and Marrying Mozart
“The Outer Banks House
is a beautifully written and deeply moving story of a sheltered young woman's awakening to life, love, and the injustice of discrimination against former slaves. In theme and impact, shades of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.
In the evocative setting and fresh voice, a unique novel all its own.”--Karen Harper, New York Times