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Publisher's Summary

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 best-selling 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.

©2012 Steven Raichlen (P)2012 AudioGO

What listeners say about Island Apart

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful writing & narration-four and a half star

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.

8 people found this helpful

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Seriously enjoyed this listen.

I listen to audio books every day. While I wake up and drink coffee for about an hour, and late evening after everyone else has gone to bed. While there are numerous books that I like, or even like a lot, there are few which I am moved by enough to write a review. This book moved me. I carried it playing in my shirt pocket most of the time. I did not want to turn it off, but sometimes I had to. Ha! The love story was touching, but not not what I consider to be vulgar. The love scenes developed a picture in my mind, but were not necessarily offensive. (As I have found many to be offensive). I would recommend this listen without any reservations. I enjoyed it that much.

3 people found this helpful

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Easy Listening

Was a good book. Food that was made sounded delicious!! Would listen to it again

1 person found this helpful

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A truly lovely book

I’d love to read more from this author. There is a lot to learn about humanity here.

1 person found this helpful

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AEESOME!

Loved the history of the island! The love story with a twist! I enjoyed the narration!

1 person found this helpful

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pleasantly surprised

I really enjoyed this book. I found it interesting and loved the characters. I recommend it!

1 person found this helpful

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A romantic and cook's must-read

this was a very well written book, quite different from what I expected. I enjoyed the love story, but especially the delicious recipes. I would love to have the recipes of the dishes that Claire and the hermit cooked.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyed this so much!

Every once in a while, a pearl of a book comes your way. This is such a book. A totally delicious read!

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Stick with it, you'll not regret it!

I enjoyed the storyline of this book almost as much as I enjoyed all of the "cook speak"!
I was surprised how it all came together - when you read it or listen to it as I have, you'll understand what I mean.
Thank you!

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Entrancing story

Beautiful, poignant story with deep characters. Claire and Molly steal your heart. I recommend!