Read Island Apart by Steven Raichlen Online


From the celebrated author of Planet Barbecue and How to Grill comes a surprising story of love, loss, redemption, and really good food.Claire Doheney, recovering from a serious illness, agrees to house-sit in an oceanfront mansion on Chappaquiddick island in Martha's Vineyard. The New York book editor hopes to find solace, strength, and sufficient calm to finish her biogrFrom the celebrated author of Planet Barbecue and How to Grill comes a surprising story of love, loss, redemption, and really good food.Claire Doheney, recovering from a serious illness, agrees to house-sit in an oceanfront mansion on Chappaquiddick island in Martha's Vineyard. The New York book editor hopes to find solace, strength, and sufficient calm to finish her biography of the iconoclastic psychotherapist, Wilhelm Reich.The last thing she expects to find is love.Then she meets a mysterious man the locals call the Hermit. No one knows his real name or where he lives. To their mutual surprise, Claire and the stranger discover that they share a passion for cooking that soon sparks something more.But Claire's new friend has a terrible secret that threatens to drive them apart forever. The clock is ticking. Can Claire let love into her life once more before it's too late?Told by a New York Times bestselling author and international TV host with a keen eye for Chappaquiddick's extraordinary natural beauty, Island Apart has it all—romance, history, travel, crime, lovemaking of exquisite intensity, and cooking scenes so vivid, they'll make your taste buds ache with hunger. Steven Raichlen's novel is a smart love story—not to mention a terrific beach read. Think The Bridges of Madison County with better food....

Title : Island Apart
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765332387
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Island Apart Reviews

  • Patty
    2019-04-03 12:30

    Island ApartBySteven RaichlenMy " in a nutshell" summary...Claire goes to Martha's Vineyard to recover from a very serious illness...she meets the Chappaquiddick  hermit...entanglements ensue!My thoughts after reading this book...Heaven on earth...that describes this one.  Who knew the barbecue king...this author...had this kind of story telling in him?I loved every single lovely sentence.  The island descriptions, daily life on the island, the food, the books, the pleasurable!I was caught up in this story with the first few pages I read.  There are sweet delightful characters and serious characters and quirky characters and all of them are caught up in life on the island.  And...all of them are involved with the lovely Claire.  The food descriptions alone will capture you, seriously.  Foraged, organic, divine dinners and desserts are a huge part of Claire's life and the Hermit's.  This book is a story of healing and it unfolded beautifully.What I loved the most...The budding relationship between Claire and the Hermit...their exchanges...their notes...their love for real food.  I loved the fact that underneath all of the flannel and fuzz...the Hermit was a true hunk!  I also loved the way the "juicy bits" in the story were shared...this is no Fifty is sweet and lovely!  I loved Wrench...Claire's daughter's boyfriend...he was priceless!What I did not love...I did not love the way everyone other than Claire treated the Hermit...sad.I did not love the fate of the poor whale or the  I didn't really like Claire's daughter at the beginning, either.  Nor was I fond of her lecherous almost ex husband.  He was sleazy...seriously so.My final thoughts...Oh my...I laughed...I cried...but I ultimately loved this novel!  I truly think that you will, too!

  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    2019-03-20 04:22

    4.5. This book is amazing! Let me just give you a little taste of what you're in for with this book: "We're all wounded in some way," he said. "It's not what you have that makes you beautiful. It's what you've lost and still managed to go on living without."How perfect is that quote? You may want to read it right now and that's okay. But there's more! This book really has a little bit of something for everyone. There's great characters (the two main characters, Claire and the Hermit, are heartbreaking and wonderful and so real). I really, really loved these characters. They're so tragic in their own way and they come together for something really beautiful. There's food! Claire and the Hermit are both wonderful cooks and make things that make you want to lick the pages just so you might get the tiniest taste of what they're cooking. There's a good love story with a great lesson. There's a mystery! See, there's really a little bit of something for everyone.There's also a great setting. Chappaquiddick is where it's set, which before this book was only known to me as the place where Ted Kennedy had that car accident which killed a young woman. Fun fact: I have a newspaper front page from when Apollo 11 landed on the moon, which happened to be right around when Kennedy had the accident so there is a story on the same front page about that. Kind of creepy, no? Anyhow, what I love about the setting is that from the way that it is written about, you can tell that the author really knows the place. He does a great job of making it come alive. Now I loved the story but there were a couple things that I didn't get about the story. I don't want to give anything away (you all still really, really need to read this book). First, why didn't Claire do something besides mope when she found on the big twist? I thought that she would take more action. Why didn't Sylvie try to make amends? Would you really send a letter like that? I didn't fully understand the motivations behind the characters, which took me out of the story a little bit. That being said, this book is still pretty fabulous. This is the book that you get lost in. It's the one where you make sure you have a ton of time to devote to it because you know that you aren't going to want to stop reading it for awhile.

  • Jeanne
    2019-04-12 06:22

    Island Apart is a love story, cookbook, history lesson, gazetteer, and visit to the psychologist all rolled together. Add a dash of the literary publishing world and read slowly. This isn't a fast-paced book, but I read it in an evening. All the bits of and pieces Raichlen throws in tend to slow down the narrative which follows Claire and the Hermit.Claire's getting a divorce from a philandering professor. Her daughter's an angry young adult with hair issues. Her mother's an Irish Catholic from Boston. Her best friend from college is a children's book author married to a best-selling psychologist with a house on Chappaquiddick that they let Claire use. Oh, and she got a cancer diagnosis the day her husband left her.The Hermit just wants to be left alone. People are dangerous. He's perfected a look that allows him to be practically invisible. He's learned how to live on the island's natural offerings. He doesn't want to be involved, but when he finds Claire lying in the middle of the road unconscious, he picks her up and saves her life.Claire wants to say thank you and thus begins a strange relationship that slowly develops through a shared love of cooking. But the Hermit's right. People are dangerous. Opening yourself to others means the chance of pain and loss, but also love.

  • Bob
    2019-04-13 05:42

    Well written; I think "poignant" is the word. My problem was, I will never be able to afford any of those wines, and will never have any (ANY!) of the foods the author goes on about, and I hate shellfish. A lot of local history about the vinyard and island (cheers for Raichlen for his pointed comments on the politics involved in Kennedy skating on the death of Mary Jo Kopechne). I felt all the extra stuff, as well done as it was, got in the way of the story and the character development. A very pleasant story, and well done, but it left me a bit hungry...

  • Bonnie Brody
    2019-04-12 08:42

    This book really surprised me. I found myself enjoying it a lot despite its being the type of book I don't usually read. It reads like a combination of the best of Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult, Susan Shreve and Elizabeth Berg. it is a love story and a tragedy, a perfect beach or airplane read. It goes fast and catches the reader in its highly emotive telling.The novel begins, "This is the story of a man who suffered great hurt and came to the island to find safety, seclusion and solace. It's also about a woman who lost nearly everything - only to find herself. This is the story of Claire and the Hermit of Chappaquiddick." The Hermit is a man rarely seen on the island. He never makes eye contact with others and tries to render himself invisible. Claire is a book editor recuperating from a rigorous trial of chemotherapy for breast cancer. Her close friends have a home on the island and loan it to her for the winter to do her editing work.Claire is editing a biography of Wilhelm Reich, the maker of the Orgone box and the psychoanalyst behind orgone therapy. The novel goes into the story of Wilhelm Reich's life in great detail, too much detail as far as I'm concerned. Claire's husband has just left her. He lost his job at Barnard for having affairs with several students there and is now without work. He is trying to sue Claire for alimony. Claire's husband left her on the same day that she found out she had breast cancer. As the book starts, Claire is finishing up her rounds of chemotherapy for a very voracious cancer. She is trying to gain her strength and heal.While riding her bike on the island, she gets into an accident and the hermit finds her unconscious on the side of the road. He picks her up and carries her two miles to the ferry so that she can get medical help. She is okay after a few days in the hospital and she wants to thank the hermit. So begins their story. She makes him some food and in return he makes some food for her. They are both fantastic cooks and communicate through their love of cooking. Gradually, they get to meet each other and a love affair ensues.The story has a lot of information about the history of Martha's Vineyard and Chappaquidick, much more than is necessary. It almost seemed like filler to me. The meat of the story is the relationship between Claire and the hermit. One of them has a huge secret and the secret may be enough to ruin what looks like an idyllic relationship.Claire is also dealing with her rebellious daughter Molly who has a multitude of piercings, tattoos, and wild hairdos. She brings home one loser boyfriend after another and Claire is at her wit's end about what to do about her daughter.The story reads well except for many repetitions. Overall, I enjoyed it a lot and found myself almost weepy at times. As a breast cancer survivor, I get very emotional when I read about other women's struggles with this disease. The author does an excellent job portraying Claire's feelings about her body image, her fears and her hopes.The hermit is a recluse who most likely is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He is a marvelous cook and at one time was a famous New York foodie.I recommend this book for a good beach or airplane read. It will keep you interested and turning the pages. It has all the necessary ingredients of a tragedy and a good love story.

  • Anne
    2019-03-27 09:36

    I wanted to like this book so much more than I actually did. There are enough detailed reviews of the plot that I won't do it again here, I'll just summarize my main issues:- The author really has an awkward narrative style. It jumps from essentially lecturing about historical facts to a paragraph about the book's protagonists, and back to history again. This could happen for half a dozen paragraphs -- back and forth, with seemingly no correlation between the two. Eventually it would become clear why he chose this particular spot to insert this historical background but the manner of introducing was so heavy-handed, and the sheer volume of content was overkill. If I wanted to read a biography of Reich I would. Here, I wanted to read a relationship novel.- The details of Chappaquiddick Island were nice and displayed the author's obvious familiarity with the place, which I suppose was the intent. But honestly, other than a passing mention there was no reason to go into repeated detail of the Ted Kennedy accident. It was really just filler, and had nothing to do with the book at all. It was like a weird kind of name-dropping, for lack of a better way to describe it.- Other than Claire and the Hermit, NONE of the characters were fleshed-out. The way they were described was so one-note -- Claire's daughter was a rebel, and such a stereotypical one at that; the Reich author was an eccentric; the ex-husband was a philanderer. There was absolutely nothing unexpected about these characters and worse, they had no depth. Really when you get down to it, even Claire and the Hermit were very lightly drawn. Claire battled cancer but we really never saw how she struggled, what she feared, how she hurt. The Hermit was isolated but we never felt his pain, saw his thoughts, understood his seclusion. As many reviewers have noted, the descriptions of food in this book are incredibly detailed. I wish that the same attention had been paid to the characters.- It honestly just drove me nuts that the Hermit was called that throughout the whole book. I really wanted to at least give this an "I Liked It", but the ending (which I see some previous reviewers have spoiled) stripped away any chance of that. I don't need all my endings to be happy but I do need some kind of an emotional payoff, and I personally didn't get it.

  • Julie Barrett
    2019-04-07 06:44

    ISLAND APART by Steven RaichlenISBN: 9780765332387 Story of Ed and Claire. He lives on the island and everything he eats and uses is from the island. Nobody knows much about him as the tale goes on so he's known as the hermit.Claire and her friend are summering at Sheilas house when Claire informs her that divorce from her husband and police charges against him make her not want to go back to NY. It's agreed she will stay on into the fall months to catch up on her reading for her publishing job and travel to Boston for chemo when needed.Brings back memories of what it's like to live on the island where I grew up. Summer months and the island growing to 5times the population. Love the winter months the most where you get to learn about your neighbors and you barter with one another.Love to hear of the history lesson as to the first inhabitants to the island.The hermit travels the island on foot and we discover all the hidden treasures.He found her on the beach knocked out after a bike accident and carried her miles to the ferry where ambulance was called. After she was better she would make food for him, breads, pies, etc and leave them just past the cemetery, he would arrive and get them and return the empty sack to her mailbox at the post office.The ingredients used to make their lavish gifts came from the island where they probably were just a few feet from one another as they foraged for the fruits or nuts to make flour. Cooking and combination of what goes into a dish is just outstanding!What Claire does is what I'd want to do, live on the island year round and read. And add in that Mary knits, I'd like to do that also. And being that it's on an island the smell of the ocean would be super.Tender sex scenes are very loving and passionate. Like how they spend time investigating the island by car.They each have secrets and the other finds out in time...Medical and other studies cited are like a mystery solved.Love and mysteries, nature scenes and island living got to me, priceless.

  • Book of Secrets ☘
    2019-04-12 12:24

    ISLAND APART has been on my wish list since last year, and when I saw the audiobook at the library, I snatched it up. The cover screams “light beach read,” but I was thrilled to discover that it went much deeper. Colorful characters, a magnificent setting, and an unusual love story made this book a memorable read. Oh, and the food! I can’t forget the delectable descriptions of dishes that kept me drooling page after page.Claire is a likable character and easy to sympathize with. She’s a smart, strong woman going through a very rough time in her life. She’s just divorced a deadbeat, cheating husband, she has a strained relationship with her college-age daughter, and she’s battling a serious illness. Claire’s closest friends offer her the use of their summer home on gorgeous Chappaquiddick Island while she recovers. Who would say no to that? Not me!Not long after moving in, Claire meets a strange, reclusive man known as the Hermit. The way they met and how their relationship developed was so unique! (Here’s where all that scrumptious food comes in, but that’s all I’m going to say.) The Hermit has a tragic past of his own, which caused him to withdraw from society, that is until Claire comes into his life. When Claire discovers his secret, their fragile new relationship is threatened.I enjoyed how the author wove the history and local lore of Chappaquiddick into the story, from the colonial days, to the tragedy on the bridge in 1969, through the island today. I consider myself an armchair traveler, and the rich descriptions of this place made me feel like a local.ISLAND APART is a bittersweet tale I won’t soon forget. I got misty-eyed a few times, especially at the end. No man is an island…I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Susan Boyce. I enjoyed her performance. She captured Claire’s persona beautifully, and her male voices were good too.

  • Virginia Campbell
    2019-04-07 06:33

    Author Steven Raichlen offers a delicious slice of the pie that is Martha's Vineyard in "Island Apart". Both touching and tempting, with a poignant romance which celebrates the love of food and the fact that food is love, this book is a treat for the senses. Claire Doheney is a New York book editor whose life implodes with a series of devastating events--just as she learns she has breast cancer, her marriage ends through her husband's infidelity (which also cost him his career), and her relationship with her daughter disintegrates. Hoping to recover her health and equilibrium, Claire agrees to housesit a friend's estate on Chappaquiddick Island. Her plans are to finish her work on editing a biography of the famed psychotherapist, Wilhelm Reich, and to restore her peace of mind. She never expects that an accident will lead to her rescue by the island's most mysterious resident, "The Hermit". A culinary connection is made when Claire thanks The Hermit with a food gift, and he returns the gesture in kind. Thus begins a surprising, sweet and savory, succulent and satisfying love story between two wounded souls who deserve a second chance at happiness. The rich flavor of the writing comes not just from the food scenes, but also from the vivid depiction of the island itself, and from the joy to be found when you can share a true passion with another being. Food is not just a necessity for life, it is a sensory pleasure and a universal language. The area in which I live is full of antique shops, thrift stores, and second-hand shops–and there is always a treasure to be found! I collect books, cookbooks, and cookware, both old and new. I don’t really need more of any of those things, but reading and cooking are an essential part of my nature. Review Copy Gratis Amazon Vine

  • Lynn
    2019-03-25 04:15

    The break-up of her marriage and a diagnosis of breast cancer send Claire Doheney to Martha's Vineyard to try to figure out how to move on with her life. Her friends have left her alone in their house on Chappaquiddick Island at the end of the summer. She continues her editing work, a biography of an eccentric inventor which is being written by an eccentric writer, and wonders how to fix the broken relationship between herself and her only daughter. Though the tiny island is all but deserted, Claire finds people eddying in and out of her life like the tides. One of the people she comes to know is someone called The Hermit when he rescues her after a bicycle accident on a lonely road. No one else on the island seems to know him at all - who he is, where he comes from, what his story might be. Through their mutual love of cooking, these two solitary people forge a relationship. His story is nothing Claire could have ever imagined, and his secret is one that could destroy their fledgling relationship for good. I like the island setting and some of the characters but I'm just not in love with the author's style. He tends to clump things together to move the story along, and there just doesn't seem to be enough true emotion to fully engage the reader's emotions. Could be I am too demanding. All in all, not a bad summer read.

  • Neb
    2019-04-01 12:34

    This book resonated with me perhaps more than any other novel I have ever read. I'll still always have works like "Lord of the Rings" at the top of my favorites list, but LotR is more of a "I want to be there" and "this journey is important to me" kind of experience, "Island Apart" feels like the author got in to my head while he was writing and concocted a tale just for me. The setting, Martha's Vinyard, is an East Coast version of where I live in the Pacific Northwest. The male lead in the story is an extreme version of me: reclusive, introspective, and wary of painful contact with other humans. He's perfectly content in his solitude and comfortable living life his own way. The other islanders refer to him as "the Hermit", and it fits. I'm a big fan of Rosamund Pilcher, and this is basically her style but told by a Yank in a Yank setting, with the requisite flashbacks to an earlier time and gentle explorations of interpersonal relationships in a colorful setting. Skillfully drawn characters galore. The female lead does a bit of overreacting at one point, dangerously close to the "psycho-harpies" who annoy me in cheap romance novels. But it's a brief, solitary moment and doesn't mar the story at all.

  • Jalynn Patterson
    2019-03-26 04:36

    Wow, who knew that the author of the Barbeque Bible could write a novel. This is Steven Raichlen's first novel. And it was a page turner. I really enjoyed my advanced copy. A short summary of the book:Claire Doheney,recovering from a serious illness, agrees to house-sit in an oceanfront mansion on Chappaquiddick Island, off Martha's Vineyard. The New York book editor hopes to find solace, strength, and sufficient calm to finish her biography of the iconoclastic psychotherapist, Wilhelm Reich.The last thing she expects to find is love.Then she meets a mysterious man the locals call the Hermit. No one knows his real name or where he lives. To their mutual surprise, Claire and the stranger discover that they share a passion for cooking that soon sparks something more.

  • Helen
    2019-03-22 05:40

    I probably would have enjoyed this book more if I'd read it at the beach.(what isn't more likeable at the beach?) Book mixes serious issues (protagonist is a cancer patient, mixed with sappy romance, book editing and detailed cooking experiences. The author manages to make a happy ending even after the narrator dies.

  • Kristen
    2019-03-29 08:18

    I really enjoyed this book! The subtle, down to earth humor, the vivid imagery, and the wonderful descriptions of the food, the town, and the people made me feel like a fly on the wall watching the story unfold. I would like to see this made into a movie, although I think a lot of my favorite parts were feelings based on detailed descriptions, which might not translate well onto the big screen. Highly recommended!

  • Merceda
    2019-04-12 06:37

    It was a decent book overall, but it went in and out of time in the latter part of the book. It held my interest but I also found that I kept having to go back to earlier parts of the book to remember who the characters were. Quite a lot about cooking and wines, which was okay, but I didn't overly enjoy them. It was sad that Claire died of cancer at the end.

  • Andrea
    2019-03-21 07:22

    Loved the food descriptions throughout the book. Made me want to learn more difficult recipes in the kitchen. Story was realistic, pulled in tough emotions, but good.

  • Michael
    2019-04-11 09:27

    Very unusual and well-written book. only fiction book he's ever done and I wish he would do more. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Margaret Marshall
    2019-04-07 08:22

    Great reading with a wonderful storyline.

  • MountainShelby
    2019-03-24 05:39

    New York City book editor Claire Doheny's life is crumbling as she simultaneously tries to survive an ugly, embarrassing divorce and a battle with breast cancer. She retreats to Chappaquiddick Island in Martha's Vineyard to find solace in the barren landscape. There she meets The Hermit, another of life's survivors, but of a completely different kind of battle . . . If you are willing to suspend disbelief (and at times you will really need to suspend disbelief), Island Apart is a delightful story, the kind of breezy read you can turn to on the beach, on vacation, in between heavier novels, or when you simply need a break from life's concerns. The audio version consists of 6 CDs (6 hours 38 minutes), which I devoured in a couple of days. Narrator Susan Boyce does a fine job of telling the tale of Claire and the Hermit, as well as creating the voices of a cast of eccentric characters. Island Apart is an eclectic mix of romance and drama served with a teaspoon of history, a dash of mystery, a pinch of crime thriller, and a dollop of inspiration. Throughout the novel, author Steven Raichlen, who has written several cookbooks (no surpise there), delivers sumptuous descriptions of menus and recipes. (Warning: do not listen to this audio book if you're driving and hungry!) Island Apart isn't going to top your list of literary classics, but it's highly recommended for fans of light romance, local color, beach reads, and all things foodie.

  • Laurel-Rain
    2019-03-31 09:24

    "No man is an island..."The famous quote is a reminder of the connections between people, no matter what their circumstances, and no matter how much they may isolate themselves.In "Island Apart," Claire, a book editor, stays in the cottage owned by her friends after her husband leaves her. She is already struggling with cancer treatment and needs the time away. Time to heal.The island of Chappaquiddick seems like the perfect spot.Meanwhile, a mysterious "hermit" moves around the perimeter of the islanders' lives, quietly taking his own respite from whatever life has hurled at him.Beautifully portrayed, the island setting, the people, and the foods they prepare draw the reader into what can best be described as a portrait of the sparks that unite people in unexpected ways.But just when everything begins to seem wonderful again for the two lost souls, a secret from the past threatens their newly developing connections. What will happen to heal the breach between Claire and the Hermit? Will they find a way to get past their mistakes?I couldn't put this book was a quick and delightful read that earned four stars from me. The uplifting premise and the beautiful language kept me reading throughout the day.

  • JoAnne Pulcino
    2019-04-16 12:26

    ISLAND APARTBy Steven RaichlenISLAND APART is a magical debut fiction novel about a magical place from the New York Times bestselling author and chef of books such as Planet Barbecue and How to Grill. Who knew a chef could write such a touching love story?After a serious illness and a traumatic break up book editor, Clair Doheney agrees to house sit a friend’s oceanfront mansion on Chappaquiddick island in Martha’s Vineyard. She has an accident while riding her bicycle, and is rescued by the mysterious and intriguing man the locals call the Hermit. The Hermit is completely closed off and has no human contact, but when he and Clair discover a passion for inventive and delicious cooking, their relationship blooms. Clair unearths the Hermits secrets and the consequences could destroy their desperate and healing need for each other.This is a very poignant romance backlit by the extraordinary natural beauty of Chappaquiddick, and full of its history and island lore. A fantastic summer read about loss, love and forgiveness with a cast of marvelously drawn characters.

  • John
    2019-04-03 05:16

    Food can be some pretty powerful stuff. We know it can help heal our bodies from injury and illness. Can it also heal relationships?Claire Doheny is a New York book editor recovering from a serious illness. To help with her recovery, she agrees to house-sit a sprawling estate on Chappaquiddick Island, the famous vacation playground for the New England wealthy. Bustling during the months of July and August, the island is a sleepy fishing village the rest of the year.Hoping to spend her time regaining her strength and finishing her work on a biography of acclaimed psychotherapist Wilhelm Reich, the last thing Claire expects is to fall in love with a mysterious man the local islanders call The Hermit.The two come from very different worlds but they share in common a passionate love for cooking. But The Hermit’s mysterious past contains a dark secret that threatens to break their relationship.Read my full review at

  • Kylie
    2019-04-03 10:36

    A Goodreads Giveaway.An interesting first novel from Steven Raichlen. Island Apart is the story of Cancer stricken Claire who moves to Martha's Vineyard to escape the rat race and have time to herself to try and recover from chemotherapy. She meets 'The Hermit' and a surprising friendship is formed. This quickly turns to romance. (And I mean quickly)I enjoyed reading this novel, with a certainly interesting storyline. The way that the characters interacted was good. I was a little disappointed with the speed in which the friendship changed to romance, due to the lack of information compared to detailed documentation of every meal that was cooked. Those descriptions were great and I could almost taste the meals myself, I just would have liked to have followed that development a little more.A good read overall, you could tell that it was written by a Non-Fiction Author however as I felt some parts of the story were brushed over quickly.

  • Kate
    2019-03-22 06:44

    A great beach book. Part love story, part survivor story and just plain good. Claire, a breast cancer survivor recovers on Chappaquiddick Island on Martha's Vinyard where she strikes up an unusual friendship and layer romance with the local hermit. His story slowly unfolds over a series if delicious and sumptuous meals they cook for one another. All is wonderful until Claire accidentally stumbles on the Hermit's story. The narrative is wonderfully detailed and you get a real sense of life on that island ESP off-season. The end may be a bit smaltzy but there's nothing wrong with that once in awhile. If you like a good love story with plenty of local color and great culinary descriptions do read this one.

  • Cissa
    2019-03-30 07:29

    The food descriptions in this novel are lush and exciting, and I would love to eat each and every one of them! Even the doctored-up oat bran insisted upon by a food faddist sounds tasty.The rest of the novel was not as good. The characters are flat at best, and the plot melodramatic and very coincidence-driven, rather than feeling like it emanates naturally from the characters in the set-up. I also very much dislike the trope where one of the people in a romantic relationship does all the changing to meet the other, and it's not reciprocated. I don't like it when the woman does all the changing for the man, and I don't like it the other way, either.Still, it's a fast read, and worth it for the food descriptions if one is into that sort of thing!

  • Marcia
    2019-04-19 04:19

    Actual Rating: ***1/2With no disrespect to either author, Island Apart could easily have been mistaken for a Nicholas Sparks novel but with one major difference. Raichlen very skillfully weaves stories of the history and lore of Chappaquiddick Island (yes, that Chappaquiddick) in Martha's Vineyard along with absolutely mouth watering descriptions of food, both procuring and preparing, into this story of a survivor of life woman and a lost recluse of a man. This was an "it caught my eye" library find, and I'm happy that the serendipitous reading fairy waved her wand when I passed by the new fiction shelf.

  • Peebee
    2019-04-06 06:42

    OK, this is the barbecue guy -- I think I own some of his licensed BBQ accessories. I saw the book in the library, and thought "it's like if Bobby Flay decided to write a novel." But it's kind of like chick lit. Imagine a male Elin Hilderbrand. Pretty photo on cover -- check. Massachusetts island -- check. Romance with its twists and turns -- check. So, the description of the meals the couple has in the book are amazing. The food porn is better than the sex they have. Anyway, not terrible, not the best book you'll ever read, but not so bad for Raichlen's first.

  • Robin
    2019-04-02 10:26

    When I started this book that involved a woman recovering from cancer, a hermit with what was most likely a tragic past, and cooking, along with a bit history of Chappaquiddick and interesting tidbits about the life of Wilhelm Reich, I thought I had found a good read-a-like for Anne Rivers Siddons and Diane Chamberlain. But, alas, it was not to be. Even though I cared about the characters and what happened to them, about halfway through the book I got bogged down (probably because of the continuing history and bio info) and ended up skimming to the end, which, by the way, seemed to go on forever.Anyway, 4 stars to the first half and 3 to the second half for an average of 3.5.

  • Debra
    2019-03-24 12:41

    I was quite disappointed in this book. Having read so many people raving about the combination of food and human interest on Chappaquiddick Island, it seemed like a sure winner.Well, that is why they run horseraces. There is no such thing as a sure winner. Mr. Raichlen's fiction style is awkward, and his characters are undeveloped cardboard. He reserves his best prose for writing lyrically and incessantly about the food that the couple cooks.To top it off, I didn't even get a good sense of the island.And so it goes.

  • Ronnie
    2019-04-08 11:30

    I got this book about three months ago..I read it after reading about the Wampanoag tribe on Martha's Vineyard. This book is well written and has all the mysteries of the Vineyard...along with the urban myth of " The Hermit". Anyone who has spent time on the Vineyard will really appreciate the story. The background of the Vineyard looms large in the story. I liked it because it was almost a continuation of the previous book I read which dealt with the Wampanoag 's. I really do recommend that you read it. You'll enjoy it very much....RJH