A collection of short stories by the Eastport author examines life on fictional Down East islands – 71Bait

From afar, islands are mysterious, pushing us away and daring us to forget them. And yet this ribbon of blue water that separates, like a magnet, is a siren’s eternal call, tugging at our thoughts. And in remote areas like Down East, islands are usually shrouded in mist – a floating veil that hides their secrets. We ask ourselves: Who lives there, how is life there – who loves, who hates and, above all, what stories do islands hold?

In Island Secrets: Stories from the Coast of Maine, Catherine JS Lee draws from her own island experience and offers a compelling journey through island life through a superb collection of short stories. Lee is a seventh-generation Mainer who writes, teaches, and has published her short stories and haiku in a variety of print and online journals. Lee lives in Eastport.

From a dozen well-crafted stories comes a wealth of life situations in a location known as the Way Down East and its two fictional islands, Spruce Island and East Haven. One is a working-class island where fishing is part of everyday life; the other is a summer retreat for those who just want to dip their toes in the east. Regardless, the stories show a penchant for the emotional response to island life; together they are a testament to an observant writer who is comfortable with everything.

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