Books by James Michael Pratt

PARADISE BAY by James Michael Pratt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 10, 2002

"Sweetness and light in a plot riddled with shortcuts."
Again from Pratt (Ticket Home, 2001, etc.), a love story too saccharine and formulaic to be affecting. Read full book review >
TICKET HOME by James Michael Pratt
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"Heartfelt but without the emotional punch of Pratt's previous work."
Once again celebrating the Greatest Generation, Pratt (The Lighthouse Keeper, p. 12, etc.) charts another love story, this time about twin brothers who worship the same woman. Read full book review >
THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER by James Michael Pratt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2000

Best-selling Pratt's second is sweetly sincere but less affecting than his first (The Last Valentine, 1998) in detailing two generations of Irish-American men learning to endure loss. Ranging in place from Ireland to wartime Italy and an island near Nantucket, the story of Billie O' Banyon and his nephew Peter is told in flashbacks as the dying Peter visits Port Hope lighthouse for the last time. The lighthouse has served not only as a warning to ships but as a metaphorical beacon of hope for men who have found consolation either working the light, as Uncle Billie did, or visiting it later, like Peter. Accompanied by his only daughter, Kathleen, Peter tells how Uncle Billie immigrated to America, married Katie, served in the merchant Navy in WWI, and, having saved his money, returned to Ireland with Katie and their only child. But both Katie and child died in the postwar influenza epidemic, and a grieving Billie returned to America, where he found solace minding the lighthouse. In the early 1930s, he's joined by young Peter, the only survivor of a fiery car crash that killed all of Peter's family. The younger man keeps up Billie's logbook and now tells Kathleen that it contains a legacy, 'the secret to ageless contentment and ageless love.' Peter tells his own story, how he married Anna before setting off to fight, survived the war though losing his best buddies, and came back to the lighthouse to visit with Anna and their infant daughter Kathleen. More tragedy awaits him, but once more he survives it, buoyed by Uncle Billie's message'that keeping the light of love bright makes life endurable'a message that, in turn, will later sustain Kathleen. Heartfelt but too message-driven'and thus uncompelling'to bring out the Kleenex. (Literary Guild featured alternate and Doubleday Book Club; author tour) Read full book review >
THE LAST VALENTINE by James Michael Pratt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 14, 1998

Love, as tested by war and time, is affectingly celebrated in this artless and affirming first novel that, previously self- published, appears now in a trade edition. Pratt's story is strictly for the tenderhearted. His characters are one-dimensional, his ending predictable, his writing more sincere than graceful—and yet in serenading love he hits the right note. Two stories are told. One of them began over half a century ago in Pasadena, California, when new student Neil Thomas was kissed by Caroline Jensen in the school yard. The other begins in January 1998, when widower and son Neil Thomas meets unmarried TV reporter Susan Allison, who's looking for the perfect love story to air on Valentine's Day. After his mother's death four years earlier, Neil wrote an account of his parents' love story that attracted widespread attention. Susan now reluctantly reads that story, and just as reluctantly meets Neil in the family home in Pasadena. Her attitude changes, though, as the project gets underway and as she finds herself both moved by the story and fast falling in love with Neil. Told in flashbacks, the parents' romance parallels the progress of the TV production and of the love affair between Neil and Susan. On Valentine's Day in 1944, when Lieutenant Neil Thomas, en route to the war in the Pacific, parted at the station from Caroline, his wife of one year, he promised that no matter what happened he'd come back for her. Her faith is affirmed when, decades later, Neil's letters, crucifix, and grave are found in the Philippines. His remains are dispatched to Caroline on Valentine's Day, and, true to his promise, she is reunited with her beloved with this, his last valentine. Pratt's debut novel, like Casablanca, tugs at the heart and brings out the hankies. Sincere, heartfelt, and a natural for television. (TV rights to Vonzernick-Sertner Films; Literary Guild alternate selection; author tour) Read full book review >