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Archive for the ‘Madeleine Blais’ Category

I’m a sucker for memoirs about selling old, family owned Cape Cod homes since I love the island that much. That’s why I loved The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home by George Howe Colt. He evoked the charm, the family, the sadness when his family sold their summer home. I hope To the New Owners by Madeleine Blais would evoke the same emotions, but alas, it did not.

ToTheNewOwners

Instead, Ms. Blais, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, described life on Martha’s Vineyard, the growth of the Vineyard from a whaling town to a summer destination for the elite, and then, to some extent, life with her family.

To the New Neighbors is not a love story about a somewhat ramshackle summer home, lived in for fifty years by her in-laws’ family, that the author is sure will be knocked down and replaced by a McMansion. It is more a psychological study of the island, the residents’ desire for privacy, the way the island makes summer guests forget the rest of the world (until a president or two decide to vacation there), the ramifications of a breach of that privacy, etc. She touches on the life of year-round residents facing many of the same issues found on the mainland.  She name drops quite a bit.

Ms. Blais is an award winning journalist and To the New Neighbors comes across more as a newspaper article than a memoir. If you are looking for a more poignant story, The Big House will be more your speed.

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