Title: Island of First Light
Publisher: MacAdam/Cage, San Francisco
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: First Edition
First printing, full number line. Signed by the author on the title page: "Norman G. Gautreau." Quarterbound in dark blue cloth-covered boards with a dark blue paper, light-blue-lettered spine. Book is tight, square, and unmarked; corners sharp, tail of spine lightly bumped. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $23); corner crease to top of back flap; "signed copy" sticker on front panel. Brodart protected. Bookseller Inventory # 003042
Synopsis: Caitlin Gray has come to remote Alabaster Island to escape her troubled family life, which is falling apart because of her husband?s affair and a horrific car accident. She meets Freddy Orcutt, an old-time islander who embraces her as a daughter, and O?zalik Mosely, a Native American who is trying to preserve her heritage while battling her own private disturbances. Caitlin helps O?zalik publish an account of a tragic event that happened to her people many years before but the islanders become incensed when they are forced to confront their ancestors? atrocities. Island of First Light is a portrait of human nature and the sense of family that we all search for when faced with adversity. Norman Gautreau brings alive the rugged Maine coast, reflecting a landscape that can be as turbulent as the lives of the people that live there.
Gautreau returns to the coastal Maine backdrop of his first novel, Sea Room (2002), in a story focusing on a trio of island residents facing difficult life transitions. Reticent Freddy Orcutt, widower and retired fisherman, has made a momentous decision in agreeing to rent out the cottage that belonged to his dead son, Jimmy. In fact, he soon looks forward to the morning visits of his pretty new tenant, Caitlin Gray, who has left her husband and children in a desperate attempt to find some time and space just for herself and her writing. Meanwhile, Native American O'zalik Moseley, married to an abusive husband, is seeking to find evidence of ancestral remains on Snagged Anchor Island, which has made her extremely unpopular among the island residents because it means the land would revert to the Passamaquoddy tribe. At times, melodrama and political correctness threaten to sink the book altogether, but Gautreau pulls it out with his seemingly effortless evocation of the island setting and the touching emotional journey and authentic verbal tics of his down-easters. Joanne Wilkinson
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