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Based sadly on an island community in mid 1800's Maine this is the story of a brave group of mixed race families who settled on an island hoping to create a haven away from the mainland hate and prejudice. Cut off from the mainland with the exception of a missionary who lived there in the summers and an occasional care package these islanders built crude homes and lived for generations before the outside world ripped them apart. When one of their own shows artistic talent and is convinced to go to the mainland to pursue his art and has a doomed relationship with a servant, the fragile island house of cards topples. Told in spare New England prose but with emotionally rich characters and setting, this is another historical example of bigotry and fear destroying a community.
This will appeal to readers of non traditional communities as well as Annie Prouix. 3 1/2 stars
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