Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Island Apart-Steven Raichlen

Island Apart

Steven Raichlen

Forge, June 5 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780765332387

No one knows his name. He came to Chappaquiddick years ago and became known as the Hermit. This recluse rarely visits the “urbanized” areas on the island unless he has no choice and never crosses over to Martha’s Vineyard.

Book editor Claire Doheney has suffered two major setbacks as she has breast cancer surgery and her marriage ended. Her friend allows Claire to use her home on Chappaquiddick to heal and to edit a biography on controversial therapist Wilhelm Reich. Not a soul would have guessed that the Hermit will save the editor when he finds her unconscious and takes her to the ferry captain. She leaves him cranberry nut bread as a thank you and soon they exchange food gifts and ultimately dinners as they fall in love but his traumatic past still lingers in the way.

This is an engaging island drama starring two people with no chance at love succeeding as the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. The Reich entries are fascinating with insight into the controversial twentieth century therapist, but also detract from the prime storyline of the editor and the hermit forging a relationship as Claire quotes John Donne that “No man is an island.”

Harriet Klausner

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