THE LAST BOAT by Michael Hite


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On her last day, an old woman recounts the day that changed her life.

Amelia Moorland has refused all entreaties from her neighbors to help celebrate her 100th birthday. She has no time or interest in it, for Amelia knows deep down that today will be her last, and she wants to clear her name. One fateful day, 80 years earlier, she followed her best friend Samantha onto a ferry leaving Nantucket. Amelia watched as Samantha tied herself to her heavy suitcase and then threw it overboard, dragging her down with it. Instinctively, Amelia dove in after her friend but was unable to save her. However, when Amelia was rescued by the ferry crew, no one remembered seeing Samantha jump and her body was never recovered. The investigation brought great shame to Amelia and her family, and no one around at the time of the incident ever looked at Amelia the same way again. Interspersed with excerpts from testimony given during the investigation, Amelia tells her life story up to that fateful day and beyond. From the moment she laid eyes on Samantha the day she arrived with her family on Nantucket, Amelia sensed an uncanny connection between them. Within just a few days of knowing her, she could hear Samantha speak to her in her sleep. As they grew closer over the years, Samantha would warn her of coming danger, especially while Amelia served with the Red Cross in Europe during World War I. Though Samantha could communicate with her friend telepathically and sense the future, her powers could not change their destinies. In his debut novel, Hite has drawn an accomplished work of historical fiction that brings the early 20th century to life in vivid detail, especially as it was lived on Nantucket. He has created a strong, engaging narrator in Amelia, and a sensitive, thoughtful rendering of an unusual friendship between two women.

A boat worth catching.

Pub Date: April 26th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-595-42033-9
Page count: 238pp
Program: Kirkus Indie
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