Holly Robinson Chance Harbor

ISBN 13: 9780451471505

Chance Harbor

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9780451471505: Chance Harbor

From the acclaimed author of Beach Plum Island and The Wishing Hill... "No one does it better than Holly Robinson.”—Susan Straight, National Book Award Finalist and Author of Between Heaven and Here
 
Catherine and Zoe are sisters, but even their mother, Eve, admits her daughters are nothing alike. Catherine is calm and responsible. Zoe is passionate and rebellious.  Nobody is surprised when Zoe gets pregnant, drops out of college, and spirals into drug addiction.
 
One night Catherine gets a call from Zoe’s terrified daughter, Willow, saying her mother has abandoned her in a bus station and disappeared. Eve blames herself, while Catherine, unable to have children, is delighted to raise Willow as her own. 
 
Now, five years later, Eve is grieving her husband’s death and making reluctant plans to sell the family’s beloved summer home on Prince Edward Island. But a series of unexpected revelations will upend the family and rock three generations of women.

CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Holly Robinson is an award-winning journalist and author of Haven Lake, Beach Plum IslandThe Wishing Hill, and a memoir, The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Written by today’s freshest new talents and selected by New American Library, NAL Accent novels touch on subjects close to a woman’s heart, from friendship to family to finding our place in the world. The Conversation Guides included in each book are intended to enrich the individual reading experience, as well as encourage us to explore these topics together—because books, and life, are meant for sharing.

Visit us online at penguin.com.

PROLOGUE

Catherine’s cell phone rang at ten o’clock. She fumbled for it on the table beside her and answered despite not recognizing the number. “Hello?”

It was her niece, Willow. Her voice was a whisper, thrumming with fear. She had to repeat herself twice before Catherine understood her.

“Mom told me to call you after her bus left,” Willow said. “Can you come get me? Please?”

Willow was at South Station in Boston. Alone.

Catherine yanked a coat on over her pajamas. She’d been downstairs watching television; her husband, Russell, was already in bed. She imagined the furious conversation she’d have with Zoe tomorrow, when her sister decided to return from whatever oh-so-exciting party or man had called her away: On what planet is it okay to leave your ten-year-old daughter alone in Boston at night? In a bus station? Even you should know better!

Catherine didn’t wake Russell before plunging into the chilly night. She charged down the porch steps and out to the car before realizing she was still wearing slippers. She didn’t turn around.

She ran two red lights driving from their house in Cambridge to Boston, making the trip to the bus station in record time despite construction on the BU Bridge.

In South Station, she swept the lobby with her eyes, heart hammering. It was nearly empty. A pair of businessmen waltzed by with briefcases, their shoulders stiff as coat hangers beneath their suits. A woman in a flowered jacket passed, hand in hand with two children, walking so fast that the smallest boy was lifted right off his feet. Homeless people were draped across the benches like forgotten blankets.

Finally, she spotted Willow. Her niece was huddled in one corner of a wooden bench, a backpack at her feet, her pale hair a knotted spiderweb over her black fleece jacket.

Catherine kept her voice calm. “Hey, sweet girl,” she said. “What are you doing staying up so late, huh?”

Willow started to cry. “I didn’t know what to do, so I called you like Mom said. I’m sorry.”

“Nothing to be sorry about. You did the right thing. Don’t cry. I’m here. Everything’s going to be okay.” Catherine bent low over Willow, turning to glare at the vagrant woman camped closest to her niece until the woman slid off the bench and loped off, her hat pulled low.

What might have happened if she hadn’t come to get her? What if she’d been on call at the clinic tonight? Or, God forbid, what if she and Russell had taken up Mom’s offer to spend the week at Chance Harbor?

“Where’s your mom, honey?” She brushed a strand of hair out of Willow’s eyes.

“I don’t know. She told me to sit here and wait for you. Without moving.” Willow’s lower lip trembled. “I didn’t move the whole time. I promise. Can we go now? I’m tired.”

“Absolutely.” Catherine took Willow’s small, cold hand in hers, and thought, Goddamn you, Zoe. I’m going to kill you when I see you.

Of course, she didn’t know yet that her sister had disappeared.

CHAPTER ONE

Eve had fallen asleep easily, but woke with a start and didn’t know where she was. Her pillow was damp. She thrashed about, searching for Andrew.

Then, with a lurching sensation, she remembered: her husband was dead. She was alone at their summer house in Chance Harbor for the first time in her life.

Eve reached for the lamp on her bedside table. Her wrist connected with a drinking glass and sent it flying. Water sprayed the sleeve of her nightgown as the glass tumbled to the floor with a smash.

She used the flashlight app on her cell phone to pick her way around the broken glass to turn on the overhead light. Her face, reflected in the mirror above the oak bureau, looked like a stranger’s. Gaunt, the chin too sharp, the cheeks hollow. Her short brown hair had grown out, the curls springing nearly to her chin now.

Eve ignored the broken glass—easier to vacuum it up in the morning—and pulled on her jeans and a sweater. It was only three a.m., but she’d never get back to sleep now. She took her book downstairs and made coffee. When you lived alone, schedules mattered less. That was both good and bad.

Coffee in hand, she grabbed the car keys and jammed her feet into sneakers, then got into the car and drove to East Point, where she parked beneath the lighthouse and walked over to the chain-link fence. She could hear a distant foghorn, a low moan in the dense liquid darkness. The beam from the lighthouse swept across the sea.

Here, the Northumberland Strait met the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The colliding tides roiled and waves crashed against the cliffs below her. This was the perfect place to watch cormorants and gulls dive and to search for the slick bobbing heads of seals. The first time Andrew had brought her here, the year before they were married, he had wrapped his arms around Eve’s waist and said, “We’re not just at the easternmost tip of Prince Edward Island, you know. We’re standing at the end of the world.”

The tall grass along the fence rippled like water around her feet. Eve waded through it to one of the picnic tables on the bluff. She sat on top of it, her feet on the bench, and stared out to sea, trying not to think about her husband, Andrew, and his final betrayal.

She had lost a daughter and now her husband. She was alone. Those were the facts she had to face.

Eve returned home when the sky was pearl gray with dawn. The wind had died down, leaving the sea dead calm and the dull silver of pewter, except for the sparkling path of the new sun. The island seemed to be holding its breath. She had stretched out on top of the picnic table and slept a little; now she felt surprisingly energized.

She had made some progress in the house, going through the closets to separate the things she wanted to keep from those she would give away or leave in the house when she sold it. She would have to make at least one more trip here with a trailer to get some of the bigger family heirlooms, like the green tapestry couch that had been Andrew’s mother’s.

She also had to find a contractor, a roofer, and a painter willing to come before spring, when the house would officially go on the market. Meanwhile, in addition to fixing up the house, she also had to sort through the small barn at the back of the property.

She walked through the tall dew-sparkled grass to the barn door, took a deep breath, and pushed it open. The door creaked and groaned.

Inside, the barn was lit by small windows. The sunlight streamed through them in dusty ribbons. There was a panicked flutter of barn swallows overhead as Eve’s eyes adjusted. The barn was divided into two rooms by a half wall; one room was for the mower and trash cans and bikes, the other for Andrew’s workshop. His tools were neatly hung in their usual places, and his tall black rubber boots stood by the door.

So strange, how you could love and hate a person with equal intensity. She and Andrew had first met when Eve was a new college graduate and took a marketing job in one of his companies south of Boston. They were married six months later. Andrew was older by a decade and had a magnetic, commanding personality, even more so because of his slight Scottish brogue—inherited from his father—and because he was beautiful to look at.

Yes, beautiful. Not handsome, the way many women described their lovers and husbands, but beautiful, with that startling thatch of reddish blond hair, his sweet smile, his neat hands.

A musician’s hands, Eve had thought at first. Then she’d gotten to know Andrew and realized that his instrument was the computer; the music he played was the software he designed—entire symphonies in code that helped companies compile information and mine data.

They’d gotten married in Newburyport’s city hall but had held their real wedding on Prince Edward Island, right here in the garden behind the Chance Harbor house, surrounded by the extended MacLeish family beneath a rose arbor with the blue sea and red cliffs behind them.

Now, as Eve touched one of the hammers, idly feeling the smooth wooden handle between her fingers, she had the strangest sensation that at any moment Andrew might walk in and start telling her about his latest repair project. He’d been putting up new gutters last year. That was why he came to the island: to tinker. “Tinkering is my religion,” he said. “With this house, I’ve got physical therapy for the rest of my life.”

But of course Andrew would never work here again. Loneliness coursed through her body like an electric shock, so intense and painful that the floor tipped and Eve had to catch herself on the long workshop table.

After a moment, she went back to the house and grabbed the stack of boxes she’d brought from the garage of their house in Newburyport. Another of Andrew’s pack-rat habits was to break down every box that arrived at their house and keep it “just in case.” He’d be pleased she was reusing them, Eve thought with a smile. She’d always blamed Andrew’s inability to throw things out on his island upbringing: here, nothing was wasted.

She ferried the boxes out to the shed. She could offer the tractor and snowplow and tools to Andrew’s cousins. They could pass them on to anyone else who wanted them. She had no need for more tools, and Andrew would be heartbroken if she sold them.

Eve had nearly reached the shed with the boxes when an enormous black animal—at first glance it was easy to imagine it was a bear—appeared out of nowhere and came lumbering up to her. A dog. But whose?

She looked around. Nobody seemed to be walking the dog or calling for it. It must be one of the local farm dogs; she knew the sheep farmer at the end of the road had several.

The animal circled her legs, grinning, tongue lolling. It had the height and heft of a Saint Bernard. This wasn’t the sort of dog you typically saw up here on the island, where the farmers kept shepherds or mutts, the Americans brought golden retrievers, and the people from Montreal brought their lapdogs to the beach in sparkly collars. No, this was a dog you’d want with you in an avalanche, where it would lie on your body to keep you from dying of hypothermia or would tow you down the mountain.

“Well, aren’t you nosy,” Eve said, laughing as the dog stood beside her, gazing up at her face with merry yellow eyes. It was difficult not to feel joyful in the company of a creature so unreservedly glad to see you.

The dog kept her company as she began sorting Andrew’s tools and packing them in boxes. She had to be careful not to fill the boxes too full or she wouldn’t be able to move them. Once each box was packed, she taped it shut and labeled it carefully with a list of contents. She stacked the boxes on the other side of the shed with the bicycles. They’d have to go, too; no way could she fit four bikes in her car.

By the time Eve was ready for lunch, she’d nicknamed the dog “Bear” and let him come inside, where the animal happily galumphed around the house and then settled into a heap of black fur after devouring half her sandwich.

As she was writing up a list of tasks she hoped to complete in the coming week, Eve heard a truck drive by. Too slow to be an islander. They treated this road, which bisected the island from the south shore to North Lake, like a highway.

Now the car was pulling into the driveway. Probably a neighbor. Nobody called ahead here. They just assumed you’d want company. Andrew’s cousin Jane had already stopped by twice, once with biscuits and a second time to ask if Eve wanted help. She did not. Andrew’s aunt Maggie had come by as well, bringing snowflake rolls and homemade blueberry jam, saying there was bingo up at the church, and did Eve want to join her, try her luck tonight?

“Might make enough to fix up this old place,” Maggie had said, eyeing the roof.

Eve didn’t have the stomach for bingo, either.

She sighed now and ran her hands through her hair. She thought she’d seen everyone by now. Had hoped she was done with explanations about why she was selling the family’s island house.

The dog heard the truck, too. Bear picked up his head and tipped his ears forward, muzzle raised, whiskers trembling. His entire body had gone rigid with anticipation. There was a sharp whistle from outside, and the dog went to the door, turning to look over his shoulder at Eve to make sure she got the message.

She opened the kitchen door and stepped out onto the deck, shading her eyes against the sun as the dog trotted across the yard, tail waving, to greet a man standing by the truck.

The man rubbed the dog’s ears, murmuring something Eve couldn’t hear, then raised his head to look at her. “So you’re the one who kidnapped my dog. I’ve been looking for this son of a gun all morning.”

“He just appeared. I wondered who he belonged to, since I haven’t seen him before.”

“He was in my truck and must have jumped out when I stopped at the store down the street. Didn’t think this guy had it in him. Sorry for the bother.”

“No bother. He was a perfect gentleman.”

The man walked toward her, the dog keeping pace. Eve thought she’d never seen anyone like him. He seemed to be assembled from the parts of contrasting men. He was tall and slim, but with a weight lifter’s broad shoulders and heavily muscled arms. He wore a pair of expensive rubber boots, the sort she’d seen in catalogs, but his blue flannel shirt was faded at the elbows and his green barn jacket had a torn pocket. His pants were the sort of heavy-duty brown trousers an electrician might wear, but a gold Rolex glittered on his wrist.

The man’s hair was gray—silver, really, though she could tell by the few streaks of color left in it that it had once been dark—and a little too long in front. He pushed it off his forehead impatiently, but when he reached the deck and looked down at Eve, his eyes were as calm and deep gray as the sea had been this morning.

Eve’s mouth went dry. She had the strangest feeling that she’d met this man before, but couldn’t imagine where that might have been. She stuck out her hand. “I’m Eve MacLeish,” she said.

“Darcy MacDougall.” His big hand engulfed hers, his eyes quiet and still on her face. Then he released her.

Eve laughed. “I should have known you’d be a Mac-something.”

“Sure I am. Scots galore out on this part of the island.” He glanced beyond her at the house. “This your summer place?”

So he could tell she was from away. Her accent, probably. Eve nodded, not wanting to get into anything about Andrew’s family. For all she knew, this man was another relative. “What about you? Where are you staying?” She could tell now that he wasn’t an islander, either.

“North Lake. Been here since Landing Day in July. My first time seeing it. Quite a spectacl...

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Descripción Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the acclaimed author of Beach Plum Island and The Wishing Hill. -No one does it better than Holly Robinson.---Susan Straight, National Book Award Finalist and Author of Between Heaven and Here Catherine and Zoe are sisters, but even their mother, Eve, admits her daughters are nothing alike. Catherine is calm and responsible. Zoe is passionate and rebellious. Nobody is surprised when Zoe gets pregnant, drops out of college, and spirals into drug addiction. One night Catherine gets a call from Zoe s terrified daughter, Willow, saying her mother has abandoned her in a bus station and disappeared. Eve blames herself, while Catherine, unable to have children, is delighted to raise Willow as her own. Now, five years later, Eve is grieving her husband s death and making reluctant plans to sell the family s beloved summer home on Prince Edward Island. But a series of unexpected revelations will upend the family and rock three generations of women. CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780451471505

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Descripción Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the acclaimed author of Beach Plum Island and The Wishing Hill. -No one does it better than Holly Robinson.---Susan Straight, National Book Award Finalist and Author of Between Heaven and Here Catherine and Zoe are sisters, but even their mother, Eve, admits her daughters are nothing alike. Catherine is calm and responsible. Zoe is passionate and rebellious. Nobody is surprised when Zoe gets pregnant, drops out of college, and spirals into drug addiction. One night Catherine gets a call from Zoe s terrified daughter, Willow, saying her mother has abandoned her in a bus station and disappeared. Eve blames herself, while Catherine, unable to have children, is delighted to raise Willow as her own. Now, five years later, Eve is grieving her husband s death and making reluctant plans to sell the family s beloved summer home on Prince Edward Island. But a series of unexpected revelations will upend the family and rock three generations of women. CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780451471505

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Descripción Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. From the acclaimed author of Beach Plum Island and The Wishing Hill. -No one does it better than Holly Robinson.---Susan Straight, National Book Award Finalist and Author of Between Heaven and Here Catherine and Zoe are sisters, but even their mother, Eve, admits her daughters are nothing alike. Catherine is calm and responsible. Zoe is passionate and rebellious. Nobody is surprised when Zoe gets pregnant, drops out of college, and spirals into drug addiction. One night Catherine gets a call from Zoe s terrified daughter, Willow, saying her mother has abandoned her in a bus station and disappeared. Eve blames herself, while Catherine, unable to have children, is delighted to raise Willow as her own. Now, five years later, Eve is grieving her husband s death and making reluctant plans to sell the family s beloved summer home on Prince Edward Island. But a series of unexpected revelations will upend the family and rock three generations of women. CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780451471505

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