Table of Contents
ALSO BY LUANNE RICE
Deep Blue Sea for Beginners
The Geometry of Sisters
What Matters Most
The Edge of Winter
Summer of Roses
Dance with Me
The Perfect Summer
The Secret Hour
Follow the Stars Home
Secrets of Paris
Crazy in Love
Angels All Over Town
Published by the Penguin Group
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Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL , England
First published in 2011 by Viking Penguin,
a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Copyright Â© Luanne Rice, 2011
All rights reserved
A Pamela Dorman Book / Viking
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA
The silver boat / Luanne Rice.
eISBN : 978-1-101-47647-5
1. SistersâFiction. 2. Irish American familiesâFiction. 3. Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)âFiction.
4. Domestic fiction. I. Title.
PS3568.I 289S54 2011
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrightable materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
For Jessie Cantrell, Mike O'Gorman,
Sarah Walker, and Ted O'Gorman
As always, I am grateful to Andrea Cirillo.
My sincere gratitude also goes to the teams at Pamela Dorman Books/ Viking and Penguin Books, especially to Pam Dorman, Julie Miesionczek, Clare Ferraro, Kathryn Court, Dick Heffernan, Norman Lidofsky and their fantastic sales teams, Lindsay Prevette, Carolyn Coleburn, Nancy Sheppard, Andrew Duncan, Rachelle Andujar, Stephen Morrison, John Fagan, Maureen Donnelly, Hal Fessenden, Leigh Butler, Roseanne Serra, and Amy Hill.
Much gratitude to Ron Bernstein.
Thank you to Amelia Onorato for showing me the process of creating a graphic novel.
I am thankful to Jessie Cantrell and Mike O'Gorman. My cats would especially like to thank Ted O'Gorman and Hallie Clarke.
Many thanks to Adrian Kinloch.
Thank you to Audrey O'Brien Loggia for sharing the Vineyard, Galway, and St. Clerans with me.
Sending good wishes to James Lee in Ireland, with thanks for all the wonderful places he showed me.
Three white frosts on three successive mornings were taken by old-time Vineyarders as a sort of scriptural ending of winter and beginning of spring.
ar McCarthy sat on the granite step of her mother's rambling, gray-shingled house, listening to surf break beyond the pond. There had been a gale last night, driving in wild ocean waves, and through the salt pond's wide bight she could see gray-green seawater tower and crash, the foam bright white in the first morning light.
Last night's high wind had blown out all the clouds, and the dawn sky was turning what Delia used to call “happy blue.” The sun hadn't yet melted the frost, which glimmered on the old stone walls and spiky brown grass, the lilac branches and the stone Buddha in the herb garden. Her mother's ancient cats skulked home from a night of hiding under the barn, looking tufty and tiny and old.
“What did you catch?” she asked. They ignored her as usual, rubbing at the screen door to be let in, leaving snags of gray fur in the wire mesh. Dar obliged them, reaching up to twist the brass knob behind her head. As the five cats ran in, Scup, her mother's black Lab, ambled out. He made a quick round of the yard, padding paw prints in the frost, then came to sit beside her on the step. They leaned into each other.
Scup nosed her hand with his white muzzle. He was thin; she could feel the ridge of his spine. She petted him for a while, and then he barked. She had promised him a car ride. Standing, she patted the pockets of her down vest to make sure she had her car keys.
They never locked this house, called Daggett's Way centuries before Dar was born, and she never locked the Hideaway, her tiny yellow beach cottage at the west end of her family's fifteen-acre property on the Atlantic Ocean in Chilmark, Massachusetts.
Opening the hatchback of her teal blue Subaru, she let Scup in and smelled the fresh air. Daffodils were ready to bloom in clumps around the yard and by the corner of the weathered shingle house; tiny buds had formed on tips of the lilac bushes. After a long, cold Martha's Vineyard winter, April was here. Dar's hands felt icy, so she closed the hatch and jammed them in her pockets. She was shivering not only from the morning chill.
She knew this feeling so well, from when she was twelve; everything that mattered in life was about to give way. Back then she'd had no real preparation, but now small warnings were everywhere: bills, deadlines, contracts, constant and unwanted calls and e-mails from Island Properties.
Climbing into the car, she discovered that Scup had jumped into the passenger seat. She looked into his deep brown eyes and wondered if he sensed impending change. He had seen the boxes she had been collecting from Alley's and the Chilmark Store.
Pulling out the driveway onto South Road, she knew she was early to meet the ferry. She turned right, passing the cemetery, driving along the oak- and stone-wall-lined road, seeing the sun rise over the trees. One car came toward her, heading westâanother year-rounder. They both waved. She turned into the parking lot at Alley's Store, scanned the trucks for Andy Mayhew's. There it was, dirty white with a hoist in back and his logo painted on the door.
She climbed the porch steps, looked for Andy but didn't see him, said hi to everyone standing around drinking coffee. Stopping at the bulletin board, she riffled through all the business cards and notices until she found a note written on a thick card embossed with Harrison Thaxter's family crest; this was how they communicated.
When are the girls arriving?
he'd scrawled in fountain pen. Reaching for the pencil dangling from the board by a string, she wrote back,
Then, not knowing whether he'd be by any time soon, she added,
(Friday, April 9th).
“When's he going to get a phone?” Andy asked, handing her a large steaming black coffee.
“When's he going to get a house?” she asked.
They both chuckled. Andy, Harrison, the McCarthy sisters, and a tight group of friends had grown up hereâfirst summering on the island, then some of them digging in and becoming yearrounders.