First Person

A Summer Place

Geraldine Brooks started it. She had no idea what she kindled in one of her Maleny listeners. Discussing her novel Caleb’s Crossing recently, she spoke of Martha’s Vineyard, where the story takes place. A glacial island thirty-three kilometres long, eleven kilometres off the Massachusetts coast, it looks like a child’s drawing of a horse on its back. I spent ten adolescent summers there in the 1950s. My grandparents owned a house on East Chop in the early 1900s. The Vineyard was embedded in the folklore of our family, in the memories of my mother and in her stories. My parents…

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