Island Light is the third 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 Island Light, Nick Daggett, a Vietnam veteran in his early forties who is haunted by his war experiences, returns to Snow Island to live year-round and run a pirate radio station from the abandoned mansion. Nora Venable, owner of the decaying mansion, comes to the island after a fifty-year absence and decides to stay. Ruth Lambert, a photographer from New York, arrives to see what is left of the old Snow Inn, which she has inherited from her aunt. This unlikely trio finds their lives unexpectedly linked after a fire sweeps through the old mansion. Set in the fall of 1990, as the United States prepares to go to war in the Persian Gulf, the final volume of the Snow Island trilogy brings together characters from the previous volumes with new arrivals in a conclusion that completes the saga of island life. This taut tale of love and perseverance evokes the isolation and connection at the heart of every community.
Praise for Island Light
“Towler’s characters are as complex and contradictory as those with whom we live our lives…[she] accomplishes the higher art of bringing us to see the drama in the commonplace, the demands of the ordinary, the conflicts and decisions made by people living the lives we discover in our families, our neighbors, ourselves.” —The Boston Globe
“Towler succeeds in bringing the small island community to vivid life, and the introspective characters are sympathetic…gracefully written, and the subtleties of family life should keep readers interested in the continuing saga.” —Publishers Weekly
“A lyrical, passionate, nuanced tale of life on the tiny island… Those familiar with the first two volumes will enjoy re-engaging with the island people, and newcomers will find themselves beguiled with Towler’s characters and her thoughtful themes of war, isolation and family.” – The Portsmouth Herald