|SOUTH HADLEY Author Katherine Towler will read from her latest work of fiction, Evening Ferry, on Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. at The Odyssey Bookshop.|
The second volume of Towler's trilogy, following Snow Island, continues the story of the inhabitants of a small and isolated island in Rhode Island, picking up 20 years after the first book ended in 1965.
At 33, Rachel Shattuck is a recent divorce and schoolteacher. She grew up on Snow Island but has lived most of her adult life on the mainland. When her widowed father, Nate, has an accident, Rachel returns home for the first time since here mother's funeral the year before to care for him.
Frustrated by the island's persistent insularity despite the specter of the Vietnam War Rachel's perspective begins to shift when she finds her mother's diaries from the 1930s and '40s. She reads of her mother's disgruntlement during the early years of her marriage, the constant money struggles, the often harsh conditions on Snow Island and her increasing immersion in the Catholic Church.
As Rachel better comprehends her family history, she also realizes that perhaps her home is on the island after all. As with the first installment, Towler succeeds in bringing the small island community to vivid life, and the introspective characters are sympathetic.