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Evening Ferry is the second volume of a literary trilogy set on a fictional New England island. The three novels span the years from the early 1940s to the early 1990s, chronicling the lives of two generations in two island families against the backdrop of the major twentieth century wars.
In Evening Ferry, thirty-two-year-old Rachel Shattuck struggles with the aftermath of her divorce while grieving the recent death of her mother. In the summer of 1965, she returns to Snow Island to care for her injured father and discovers her mother’s diaries hidden in a closet. Reading Phoebe Shattuck’s account of her life as a wife and a mother, Rachel learns the truth about her family’s history, her mother’s death, and her own aspirations to lead a new life. The upheaval of the 1960s and the involvement of the U.S. in the war in Vietnam reach the isolated community of the island in this story about the secrets that lie at the heart of a family.
Praise for Evening Ferry
“Readers familiar with Snow Island, Katherine Towler’s fine first novel, will be further delighted by her return to those hardscrabble New England waterfolk in Evening Ferry: a strong and deeply satisfying tale of the islanders’ lives, loves, and losses from the Great Depression of the 1930s to America’s war in Vietnam. Readers new to Towler’s fiction have a happy discovery awaiting them.” — John Barth, author of The Sot-Weed Factor and The Book of Ten Nights and a Night
“[Towler] imagines characters and an island life that feel remarkably real. Inner quandaries over love, sex, memories, dreams and codes of duty are rendered with a light but vivid elegance… by intertwining each era’s history and cultural shifts with the stories of individual islanders, Towler is creating a memorable regional trilogy.” — The Providence Journal
“When one is held in place by the past, the only way to move life forward is to find a way to break those chains. It is such a journey that Katherine Towler places at the center of Evening Ferry. Evening Ferry succeeds in part because the characters tell an interesting story, but also because of the way the novel takes the reader to a world far removed from present experience.” — The Denver Post
“Towler’s two books, with their overlapping characters and philosophies, interlock neatly, like pieces of a larger jigsaw already fully imagined… a compelling achievement.” — The Boston Globe
“Poignant… In a country deeply divided by the Vietnam conflict, Evening Ferry is the calm before the storm.” — Curledup.com
“Evening Ferry is a moving, human story, and Towler is a powerful, brave new writer.” — Hippo Press, Manchester, NH
“Evening Ferry grips readers, beginning to end, with a gradual revealing of hard and sometimes redeeming truths about characters we truly care about.” — The Concord Monitor