Island Apart by Steven Raichlen

Title:  Island Apart

Author:  Steven Raichlen

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  June 2012 – Forge Books

Audiobook: narrated by Susan Boyce – AudioGO

6 CDs – 6hrs 38min

Synopsis:  Claire Doheney, recovering from a serious illness, agrees to house-sit in an oceanfront mansion on Chappaquiddick island in Martha’s Vineyard. The New York book editor hopes to find solace, strength, and sufficient calm to finish her biography of the iconoclastic psychotherapist, Wilhelm Reich.

The last thing she expects to find is love.  

Then she meets a mysterious man the locals call the Hermit. No one knows his real name or where he lives. To their mutual surprise, Claire and the stranger discover that they share a passion for cooking that soon sparks something more.

But Claire’s new friend has a terrible secret that threatens to drive them apart forever. The clock is ticking. Can Claire let love into her life once more before it’s too late?

My take:  Island Apart is what I like to call an addictive read (or in my case, listen). I listened to the audiobook in one day.  It’s the story of two lost souls. One, the hermit, has isolated himself after going through a horrific personal event. The other, Claire, is going through cancer treatment and a divorce from the man who left the day she told him of her diagnosis. She’s staying at the home of dear friends on Chappaquiddick. When their paths cross the hermit and Claire begin an unlikely friendship. Very quickly they find a shared love of food and cooking. They leave gifts of food for each other before they start to see each other in person. A bond of mutual respect is formed and soon grows to acceptance and love even after an obstacle or two appear.

This novel had an almost fairytale-like quality. The theme that no man is an island runs throughout. It’s filled with minor characters and story lines that I’m not certain were absolutely necessary but I also don’t feel they took away from the main story.

All-in-all, I enjoyed spending a day listening to Island Apart. Warning: There are a lot of food descriptions so don’t be surprised if you feel hungry while reading.

Susan Boyce’s narration is straight-forward – meaning, in my opinion, she read the book as opposed to performed it. In this case that approach worked for me. I didn’t need the various characters distinctly voiced. I just wanted to see where the story was going – and she made that happen.

Goodreads rating

Disclosure:  I received an audiobook review copy from AudioGO via Audiobook Jukebox. I was not compensated for my review.

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19 thoughts on “Island Apart by Steven Raichlen

  1. It does sound good, especially the setting. Claire’s soon to be ex sounds like a real pip. Showed his true colors – probably best he left. Geez, some men! Glad you enjoyed it so much, Mary.

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  2. Wow … you listened to this in one day! I don’t think I’ve ever been able to do that. It must have been good. And why does no one ask me to house-sit a house on a beach????

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