Claire Doheney, recovering from a serious illness, agrees to house-sit an oceanfront mansion on Chappaquiddick Island in Martha's Vineyard. The New York book editor hopes to find solace, strength, and sufficient calm to finish a biography of the iconoclastic psychotherapist Wilhelm Reich. The last thing she expects to find is love. Then she meets a mysterious man the locals call the Hermit. No one knows his real name or where he lives. Quite by accident and to their mutual surprise, Claire and the stranger discover that they share a passion for cooking. As Claire gets to know the Hermit, she finds rare qualities in a man most people have long since dismissed as an outcast. As Claire comes to appreciate this tiny island, with its colorful inhabitants, she experiences healing, redemption, and a happiness she hasn't known for years...Until she discovers what drove the Hermit into seclusion. Will his terrible secret bring them closer together? Or drive them apart forever? The clock is ticking. Can Claire make peace with her disaffected daughter, callous ex-husband, and cynical boss? Can she let love into her life once more before it's too late? Told by a New York Times bestselling author and international TV host with a keen eye for Chappaquiddick's extraordinary natural beauty, Island Apart has it all--romance, history, travel, crime, lovemaking of exquisite intensity, and cooking scenes so vivid, they'll make your taste buds ache with hunger. Funny, tender, engaging, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, Steven Raichlen's novel is a smart love story--not to mention a terrific beach listen. Think The Bridges of Madison County with better food.
Island Apart / Steven Raichlen
“…Raichlen is well-versed in epicurean delights; as the two loners' relationship unfolds, cooking takes a central role. The riveting descriptions of how these gourmands gather ingredients from the woods, and their process of transforming basic staples into dazzling meals, nearly overshadows the captivating tale of how Claire draws the Hermit out of his shell. In addition, the cast of supporting characters, from a zany author who eats only sauerkraut to a rebellious biker with impeccable manners, serves to enrich the story in an amusingly memorable way. With a debut novel like Island Apart, Raichlen could consider shelving his barbecue tools for good.” ~Shelf Awareness (Natalie Papailiou)