Osprey Island

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2004 - Fiction - 279 pages
3 Reviews
From the author of The Good People of New York ("Fabulous . . . Wonderfully satisfying . . . This is a voice I'd follow anywhere" --Elinor Lipman), a book about summer, that most incandescent and evanescent season -- about lazy days, fleeting love, and tempers that flare in the heat.

Very few people ever leave the tight-knit community of year-rounders on Osprey Island, and fewer yet come back. Suzy Chizek does, though, with her young daughter in tow; a single mother, she comes home in the summer of 1988 to help her father run his hotel, the Lodge. Roddy Jacobs returns to work at the Lodge, too, after a mysterious period of drifting in the wake of the Vietnam War. Separated since high school, Suzy and Roddy cannot help but come together, unsure whether they are in love or simply using each other, and the Island, as an escape from the pressures and disappointments of mainland life.

Just before the start of the season, the Lodge's troubled housekeeper dies in a suspicious fire, shattering the Island's equilibrium. Lorna had protected her young son, affectionately nicknamed Squee, from the rages of her alcoholic husband, Lance. When Squee, in his grief and panic, runs away from both his father's ramshackle home and his grandparents, he seeks out Roddy and Suzy, whom he implicitly trusts, bringing the tentative lovers into conflict with volatile Lance. Roddy's mother, the controversial and independent Eden, seems to know more Island secrets than anyone. She loves Squee with motherly intensity, but her righteous defense of him may prove more dangerous than helpful.

Can the community save Squee from his father, the very person who is meant to take care of him? Can a town that is fueled by secrets expose itself to responsibility? Is it brave or foolish to leave the familiarity of Osprey Island?

In the uniquely ephemeral atmosphere of a summer resort, Thisbe Nissen unfolds an ever-deepening story of ancient loyalties and betrayals, while showcasing the qualities that readers have come to expect from her: exuberant wit, fierce intelligence, and unforgettable warmth and compassion. An ambitious, richly satisfying novel of indelible power and beauty.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - allison.sivak - LibraryThing

This novel follows the inhabitants of a small East-Coast island, a tourist destination in summer and a slow local hamlet during all other seasons. Centred around the Osprey Island Lodge, the book ... Read full review

Osprey Island

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In the summer of 1988, Osprey Island's lodge seems the perfect if slightly seedy hideaway for weary New Yorkers. The Chizeks, owners of the lodge for decades, find their routine preseason prep work ... Read full review

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Contents

One The Lodge at Osprey Island
7
Two Where the Osprey Makes Its Nest
17
Three The Raptor Is a Bird of Prey
25
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Thisbe Nissen is a graduate of Oberlin College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and she is a former James Michener Fellow. A native New Yorker, she now lives, writes, gardens, and collages in Iowa City, Iowa.

Thisbe Nissen’s Out of the Girls’ Room and into the Night and The Good People of New York are available in Vintage paperback.

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