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