The Art and War of Island Secrets


The Art and War of Island Secrets: Four Wars. Three generations of women. Two continents and North Carolina’s most remote barrier island, accessible only by boat. Art and War is a tale of women on the home front of one of America’s most military friendly states. It’s a tale of wars’ fall out on them, from the Second World War through the present day’s Afghanistan and Iraq struggles. Madeline “Maddie” is pregnant and looking at single motherhood, her worst fear of repeating her foremothers’ pasts. Her grandmother and legal mother by adoption, Clare is desperate to know who her father really was. And Trish, her BFF like-a-sister, is hiding from an abusive ex. With the legacy and ghost of matriarch Avila, these women carve out a family and community life largely without their men, who are deployed by various branches of the military. In an island-village where everybody knows them and their history, some mysterious missing pieces to their family tree haunt them, especially Clare. Will they ever know enough of the truth to avoid repeating the dark side of their legacies? Where can such secrets hide on a small, insular island, with no way on or off except by ferry?






September 1941

Avila, Ma Vie

As I write, I’m crossing over to your island from the mainland, near (I believe) Morehead City. It’s as if I were being carried via magic carpet home to you, under cover of darkness into your world. Perhaps I’ve been reading too much Louis MacNeice, but I do feel a poem coming on. “Island Embrace” it wants to be called. Dead giveaway I should think. I’ll scratch it out in a bit and enclose with this letter which you will not see just yet.

I’ve been so anxious, Ma Vie, to get to you. It’s taken a week, what with the official purpose of the trip being in Washington. I’ve thought my pulse would explode with the pacing of the journey, all this waiting for the real reason I agreed to this strenuous travel for as far as we’re concerned.

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