Richard North Patterson Loss of Innocence

ISBN 13: 9781624601606

Loss of Innocence

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9781624601606: Loss of Innocence
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[MP3-CD audiobook format in Vinyl case. *NOTE: The MP3-CD format requires a compatible audio CD player.]

[Read by Julia Whelan]

From acclaimed author Richard North Patterson comes a sweeping family drama of dark secrets and individual awakenings, set against the backdrop of the tumultuous summer of 1968. - - America is in a state of turbulence, engulfed in civil unrest and uncertainty. Yet for Whitney Dane - - spending the summer of her twenty-second year on Martha's Vineyard - - life could not be safer nor the future more certain. Educated at Wheaton, soon to be married, and the youngest daughter of the all-American Dane family, Whitney has everything she has ever wanted and is everything her all-powerful and doting father, Charles Dane, wants her to be. But the Vineyard's still waters are disturbed by the appearance of Benjamin Blaine. An underprivileged yet fiercely ambitious and charismatic figure, he is a force of nature neither Whitney nor her family could have prepared for. As Ben's presence begins to awaken independence within Whitney, it also brings deep-rooted family tensions to a dangerous head. And soon Whitneys set-in-stone future becomes far from satisfactory and her picture-perfect family far from pretty.

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About the Author:

Richard North Patterson is the author of twenty bestselling novels, including Garden of Eden, Exile, Degree of Guilt, and Silent Witness. He has appeared on Good Morning America, Hardball, and The CBS Morning Show, and his articles on politics, literature, and law have been published inThe London Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and San Jose Mercury News. He lives in Martha's Vineyard, Cabo San Lucas, and San Francisco with his wife, Dr. Nancy Clair.

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The day was bright and clear, and a headwind stirred his curly hair; absorbed in sailing, Ben barely seemed aware of Whitney sitting near the stern. While she did not mind the quiet, it felt as though he was playing the role of her indifferent crew. Then he finally spoke. “I wonder how many more times I’ll get to do this.”

“Because of the draft?”

Ben kept scanning the water. “Because of the war,” he said harshly. “What a pointless death that would be.”

Uneasy, Whitney thought of Peter’s safe haven in the National Guard. “You don’t believe we’re the firewall against Communism?”

His derisive smile came and went. “If you were some Vietnamese peasant, would you want to be ruled by a bunch of crooks and toadies? To win this war, we’d have to pave the entire country, then stay there for fifty years. And if we lose, what does that mean to us? That the Vietnamese are going to paddle thousand of miles across the Pacific to occupy San Francisco?”

Whitney had wondered, too. She chose to say nothing more.

The day grew muggy. Running before the wind, Ben headed toward Tarpaulin Cove, the shelter on an island little more than a sand spit. Hand on the tiller, he seemed more relaxed, his brain and sinews attuned to each shift in the breeze. It was not until they eased into the cove that Ben spoke to her again. “I brought an igloo filled with sandwiches and drinks. Think the two of us can swim it to the beach?”

“Sure.”

Stripping down to her swimsuit, Whitney climbed down the rope ladder and began dogpaddling in the cool, invigorating water. Ben peeled off his T-shirt and dove in with the cooler, his sinewy torso glistening in the sun and water. Together, they floated it toward the shore, each paddling with one arm. At length, somewhat winded, they sat on the beach as the surf lapped at their feet. The Vineyard was barely visible; they had come a fair distance, Whitney realized, and yet the trip seemed to have swallowed time. This must be what sailing did for him.

For a time Whitney contented herself, as he did, with eating sandwiches and sipping a cool beer. Curious, she asked, “Is the war why you worked for Bobby?”

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