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Island apart
Steven Raichlen
Adult Fiction RAICHLE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Renowned for his bestselling cookbook titles, Massachusetts author Raichlen (Planet Barbecue!), moves into fiction with the story of a solitary, unkempt beachcomber known as "the Hermit" who has lived on Chappaquiddick Island for the past 10 years. When New York City editor Claire Doheney comes to stay there with her friends Sheila and Elliott Feinblat, Claire soon meets the Hermit and they strike up a friendship based on their mutual loves of books and cooking. Middle-aged Claire is going through a rough patch, divorcing her philandering professor husband, Harrison, and completing chemotherapy after a double mastectomy. The Hermit and Claire's relationship deepens into a sensual romance, despite her wry comment about "making love to a board." After Claire learns the Hermit's entire mysterious story, she suspects she may have picked the wrong man again. Devastated, she seeks out the sympathetic support of Sheila, throws herself into her editing work, and deals with her rebellious daughter, Molly. Neatly placed twists enable Claire to find her bearings again, but while there's sadness and redemption, the star of the novel is Raichlen's vivid depiction of Chappaquiddick beach life paired with some great food. 1`(June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

New York book editor Claire Doheney, finishing up her last few chemotherapy treatments for aggressive breast cancer, agrees to house-sit a friend's summer home on Chappaquiddick Island, close to Martha's Vineyard. After a bicycle accident, she meets a man known to the locals only as "the Hermit." The Hermit rarely speaks to anyone and lives solely off the land, but he and Claire begin a relationship sparked by their shared love of the culinary arts. Despite his looks-shabby and unkempt-the Hermit is quite the foodie. A romance develops between these two lonely people, both damaged by former relationships. VERDICT Cookbook author Raichlen (The Barbecue! Bible) makes his fiction debut with this tasty beach book whose wonderfully evocative descriptions of meals should not be read on an empty stomach. Despite a few flaws-a rushed ending and contrived situations easily and quickly resolved-Raichlin's novel will appeal to readers interested in later-in-life love stories and fans of culinary fiction.-Brooke Bolton, North Manchester P.L., IN (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Claire Doheney
Recovering from an illness; agrees to house-sit for a friend; falls in love with the town stranger.

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