Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Definition of Wind-Ellen Block

The Definition of Wind
Ellen Block
Bantam, Jun 28 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780440245766

The house fire in Boston left the lexicographer in intensive care while her husband and their four year old child died in the blaze. Thirtyish Abigail Harker relocated to North Carolina barrier island Chapel Isle where her late spouse spent many enjoyable summers growing up as the lighthouse caretaker (see The Language of Sand).

Eventually feeling welcomed by the islanders, Abby still struggles with her grief as summer and tourism arrive. Abby’s landlord asks her to act as a go between with renters, which she reluctantly agrees to do. The widow soon finds herself searching for hidden sea treasure of goldsmith Paul Revere on the sunken Bishop’s Mistress that delights the lexicographer and an arsonisr setting fires who frightens her. Finally there is Nat who she distrusts yet is attracted to him even as she feels guilt.

This entertaining islander contemporary focuses on Abby and her relationships with locals, tourists and a treasure hunter. The story line is super when the concentration is on the wonderful fully developed cast. The treasure hunt cleverly brings out the avarice gold fever in those who normally are unselfish but a touch of the paranormal enhanced by the Tim drama detracts from an otherwise strong character study.

Harriet Klausner

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