One midnight, Coral Rigby catches her cousin, Jeffrey Goodman Brown, peeping into windows at the rundown cottage colony they own together in Wonderstrand, a forgotten pocket of Cape Cod. The nights there are said to be the darkest on the outer Cape.MoreOne midnight, Coral Rigby catches her cousin, Jeffrey Goodman Brown, peeping into windows at the rundown cottage colony they own together in Wonderstrand, a forgotten pocket of Cape Cod.
The nights there are said to be the darkest on the outer Cape. History and legend hover over it like fogs. A near recluse, Coral is trying to escape her own unwelcome ability to draw out other peoples deepest secrets. She scrapes out a living selling scarecrows at craft markets, each creation as finely detailed as a portrait.
Jeffrey is a wealthy entrepreneur whose interests range from real estate to doughnuts. When he vows to drive Coral from her home, she retaliates, using her knowledge of Jeffreys past. Both cousins ensnare and manipulate their young tenants in their battle, Guy Maulkin, a shy folklorist with a mighty ambition, and Piety Rugosa, a waitress with a taste for oysters and Kir Royale. When Guy and Piety discover a mutual attraction, and Doane Wakefield, the man Coral almost married many years ago, shows up to aid Jeffrey, the accumulated grief, betrayal and fury of all their lifetimes force them to confront their true selves.
A 21st century retelling of Nathaniel Hawthornes Feathertop, Wonderstrand Tales echoes the humor and pathos of the original story through the fantastic local tales Guy writes. It would appeal to readers who enjoy the work of Alice Hoffman, Karen Russell, and A.S.Byatt. Come to Wonderstrand. Look at your reflection in a grassless patch of marsh water. Watch it shift and waver as clouds pass over the sun. Plunge your hand in and see your face shatter into a thousand ripples and disappear.
One illusion ends, another begins.