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I seldom hand out 5 stars...I think they are awarded so often they become meaningless. However this book comes close in my opinion. For a fairly brief novel, the book develops beautifully and with amazing thoughtfulness and heart.
If you enjoy cooking, you'll enjoy Steven Raichlen's lead characters. Both are innovative chefs and creative cooking becomes part of their courtship. The book isn't centered around food and cooking but it plays an important part in their growing relationship. I've never been to Martha's Vineyard but felt like I got to know the area from the writing and details in the novel which is set on Chappaquiddick Island. Claire and "the Hermit" are a mismatched couple whose relationship slowly grows, as Claire battles breast cancer and "the Hermit" hides from his past.
The plot is finely tuned with excellent dialogue and development of the characters. As I got to know them, and the story of their lives, I became more fascinated with their past-especially that of "the Hermit". Both of them grew as the story progressed and their embittered lives and hearts heal slowly but gradually as their relationship grows.
I very much enjoyed some of the secondary characters, especially Molly, Claire's daughter who has a case of terminal bad attitude and is resentful about both her mothers breast cancer and her parents divorce has a revolving collection of unusual boyfriends, of whom Wrench was most finely written.
Susan Boyce's narration was excellent-one of the finest readers I've heard on Audible and I plan on looking for more work that she's done.
This is one of the best romances novels I've read in a long time and I encourage those who enjoy the genre to give it a listen. I'd say it combines Nora Roberts with Jodi Picoult, though I think its a finer novel with better writing than either of these authors has written. I'm impressed that a male author can draw a woman's attitudes and feeling so well.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Island Apart the most enjoyable?
The gastronomic descriptions were inspiring. I also enjoyed the the background history and natural history that the author gives of the area. I got out maps and found that the book gave me some insight into a place that is fascinating to me.
Would you be willing to try another book from Steven Raichlen? Why or why not?
Yes, for when I need light easy reading.
What about Susan Boyce’s performance did you like?
Her voice is good but her accents and pronunciation of certain words lets her down. If the author wants to name drop with designer labels or dishes, the reader should say the names correctly.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, it is a short simple book.
Any additional comments?
I found that the main character was a little shallow. It may be that the author is male and is projecting the way he thinks a woman would react. Some of it didn't ring true.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful