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The Boat House Cafe: Book One of First Light Paperback – October 15, 2014
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First Place in 20th-Century Fiction in the Goethe Award for Historical Fiction
"Cardillo evokes the clapboard ports of New England with sensuous prose. . . A sympathetic depiction of the oft-forgotten New England Native American heritage in this picturesque corner of the Vineyard."--Kirkus Reviews
"In this beautiful, lyrical novel, Linda Cardillo creates a fierce, strong-willed heroine, unafraid of hard work, solitude, or the judgment of her fellow islanders."--Judith Arnold, USA Today Bestselling Author
"The Boat House Café is a delicious read, which I devoured in a single sitting. Linda Cardillo's writing is sensuous and full of feeling without being sentimental. The beautiful prose carried me to the island community of Martha's Vineyard and into the lives of Mae Keaney and Tobias Monroe. The principal characters evoke compassion with their flaws and inspire with their strength. The supporting cast adds the rich texture of conflicting cultures. Although set in the 1940's, the challenges of identity, loyalty and authenticity make this story more than relevant for today's reader. If you have been to Martha's Vineyard, this is a must read. If you have not set foot on Chappaquiddick, The Boat House Café will bind you with the spell of "First Light". Cardillo's sense of place mixed with genuine emotion is a recipe that truly does "nurture the soul." I am hungry for the sequel."--B. L. Moulton
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The heroine is a strong independent young woman who survived the disappointments and duplicity of people she cared about in her teenage years. Through her hard work and determination she is able to purchase a piece of land on the New England coast, the one place where she was happy as a child. Here she repairs the buildings and opens a cafe which becomes profitable in spite of the skepticism of some of the town leaders.
When not attending to her customers, her life is reclusive and very private. Eventually she meets the other taciturn and reclusive person on the island.
The plot of the story moves on the budding relationship between these two very private people. Their struggles against the elements, the prejudice of the townspeople and their own pasts are real and persuasive.
The beautiful description of the lonely landscape made me feel as if were right there in the story. The character development was excellent. This book made me want to read more of Ms. Cardillo's work.
I was given this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review.