Although they couldn't have had more disparate childhoods--Jim grew up on a struggling Michigan farm while Frankie lived in a Manhattan town house and an English country estate--their shared summer rituals have them falling in love before the reader's eyes.
- New York Times Notable Books of the Year
Rarely does a subtitle describe a book so well as this one encapsulates journalist Sterba's experiences at the New England cabin of his friend, fellow writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Frances "Frankie" FitzGerald. This is a work suffused with love of every stripe, from the romantic kind to the kind one might feel for a place, a way of life and a really good dinner. Although memoirs that arise from such contented sighs are sometimes overly sentimental, Sterba's journalistic edge keeps the prose far from mushy. It also makes for a strange yet delightful combination of elements. Mixed in with his tale of falling in love with Frankie are memories from his days reporting on Asia for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, thoughts about lobster and descriptions of prosaic events like brushing his teeth or reading the New Yorker. There are also some recipes that are probably best cooked at a cabin in Maine, after a bracing swim or a stroll through a town store that still sells penny candy. Sterba is a practical romantic who can dream away an afternoon on a sailboat but still hold a lively conversation about how tripartite boat ownership necessitates a consensus during an extensive naming session for the craft. As his relationships with the boat, Maine and cooking unfold over the course of one summer, so too does his romance with Frankie, all of it taking on the same vacation-like pace that's suffused with leisure but quickens with bursts of activity. This is a beautiful memoir, giving a glimpse not just of a person but of a time and a place worth noting. Agent, Robert Lescher. (July) Forecast: Blurbs from Joan Didion, Tom Brokaw and David Halberstam, combined with release in the middle of vacation book reading season, should help this sell strongly. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 05, 2004
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