For readers of Elizabeth Strout, Alice Munro, and Anne Tyler this literary novel traces the life of a family and its matriarch over the course of a decade.
by Eleanor Morse
St. Martin’s Press, April 2021
MARGREETE’S HARBOR begins with a fire: a fiercely-independent, thrice-widowed woman living on her own in a rambling house near the Maine coast forgets a hot pan on the stovetop, and nearly burns her place down. When Margreete Bright calls her daughter Liddie to confess, Liddie realizes that her mother can no longer live alone. She, her husband Harry, and their children Eva and Bernie move from a settled life in Michigan across the country to Margreete’s isolated home, and begin a new life. MARGREETE’S HARBOR tells the story of ten years in the history of a family: a novel of small moments, intimate betrayals, arrivals and disappearances. Liddie, a professional cellist, struggles to find space for her music in a marriage that increasingly confines her; Harry’s critical approach to the growing war in Vietnam endangers his new position as a high school history teacher; Bernie and Eva begin to find their own identities as young adults; and Margreete slowly descends into a private world of memories, even as she comes to find a larger purpose in them. This beautiful novel—attuned to the seasons of nature, the internal dynamics of a family, and a nation torn by its contradicting ideals—reveals the largest meanings in the smallest and most secret moments of life.
Eleanor Morse is the author of White Dog Fell from the Sky and An Unexpected Forest, which won the Independent Publisher’s Gold Medalist Award for Best Regional Fiction in the Northeast United States, and was selected as the Winner of the Best Published Fiction by the Maine writers and Publishers Alliance. Morse has taught in adult education programs, in prisons, and in university systems, both in Maine and in southern Africa. She lives on Peaks Island, Maine.