Diann Ducharme

With the recent release of the sequel to The Outer Banks House, Diann Ducharme has officially filled the niche long missing in Outer Banks historical fiction and romance. A native of Newport News, Virginia, Diann has vacationed on the Outer Banks of North Carolina all of her life and has used the dynamic setting as a backdrop for her writing. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in teaching from Virginia Commonwealth University. Diann's literary debut, The Outer Banks House,  ...See more >

Diann Ducharme welcomes queries regarding:
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U.S. Publication
Agent: Byrd Leavell [Waxman Leavell Literary Agency]


"A heartbreaking yet uplifting novel that explores the destruction and beauty of love."

Kirkus Reviews


Style Weekly Book Review

River City Fiction Author Interview

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Summer Reading Roundup

Writer's Digest Breaking In

Hometown Manakin Sabot, Virginia

Favorite author Anthony Doerr, Charles Frazier, Michael Pollan, Laurie King, Elizabeth Gilbert

Favorite book The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-0692312926
Page count: 418pp

A heartbreaking yet uplifting novel that explores the destruction and beauty of love.

Set between 1875 and ’76, Ducharme’s story—this being the sequel to The Outer Banks House (2010)—is about love and its many faces, from young and reckless to unrequited. Specifically, she explores the unlikely passion that forms between smart, affluent Abigail Sinclair and uneducated, penniless Benjamin Whimble. The people of this tightknit island community on the Outer Banks, off the coast of North Carolina, are connected by their collective poverty and abiding love for the sea. Outsiders are generally unwelcome. When Abigail’s family visits for a summer, she starts teaching Ben, her father’s fishing guide, how to read. His love for literature and for his teacher grows, and slowly he drifts away from longtime girlfriend, Eliza Dickens, eventually leaving her to marry Abigail. Although this new love is strong, tragedy tests it. Seven years later, the worst behind them, the couple picks through their past separately, putting together the pieces of themselves they lost along the way. Meanwhile, all these years later, plucky and independent Eliza has never fully recovered from losing Ben. She fights for his return and learns much more about herself in the process. Supporting characters, many with equally interesting lives, float in and out of the story as well. Ducharme beautifully shifts among love stories, weaving lives together. She also daftly expresses the tensions between economic classes. In her fog of love, Abigail joyfully leaves behind the security of her life at home so she can be with a man who could never financially provide for her in the ways she’s accustomed; only after the wedding does it hit her. “Words had failed us that night, and I’d welcomed the silence,” she thinks. “Words had escaped me the next morning as well but in a different way, when I came to realize that I was married to a fisherman for the rest of my days.”

A study in love, class, and the profound ways people grow and adapt to life’s challenges.


Literary Fiction

Genetics doctoral student and longevity researcher Ryan Abernathy restricts his calories and his social life; he is terrified of death, but his life, governed by study and exercise, is hollow. The longevity study that he works for receives a tip from an Irish doctor regarding two elderly twin sisters, Cleona and Catherine Owen, who live on a remote island off the western coast of Ireland. Ryan volunteers to investigate, hoping to get DNA samples from the women in his ambitious effort to increase lifespan and fight age-related diseases and just possibly, cure death itself. On the island, Ryan meets Cleona’s beautiful yet child-like great-granddaughter, Aisling, who cares for the elderly women but is able to offer Ryan no official age documentation for them. Aisling, lonely for companionship and exhausted from the care-taking of the sick women, draws Ryan into her world by telling him a story that she learned when she was young: that she and her relatives are the final known descendants of an old island clan that, through thousands of years of inbreeding and isolation, managed to achieve remarkable longevity. Ryan doesn’t believe Aisling, but by asking questions of the bar man at the local pub and by stumbling across a time-worn gravestone in the old cemetery, he becomes more curious about the unusual family. As his curiosity increases, so does that of sick Irish nun Sister Ignatius, who believes that she recognizes Catherine as a nun who disappeared from her convent sixty years ago. Both scientist and nun must grapple with their own deep-seated beliefs in order to determine the truth about the people, both past and present, of the Celtic island.

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Historical Fiction

In 1868, on the barren shores of post-Civil War North Carolina, the once wealthy Sinclair family moves for the summer to the resort village of Nags Head. Seventeen-year-old Abigail is beautiful and book-smart, but sheltered by her plantation life and hemmed in by her emotionally distant family. To make good use of her time, she is encouraged by her family to teach her father's fishing guide, the kind but penniless Benjamin Whimble, how to read and write. And in a twist of fate unforeseen by anyone around them, the two come to love each other deeply, and to understand each other in a way that no one else does. But when, against everything he claims to represent, Ben becomes entangled in Abby's father's Ku Klux Klan work, the terrible tragedy and surprising revelations unmasked on one hot Outer Banks night threaten to tear them apart forever.

ISBN: 978-0-307-46224-4
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