Friday, June 21, 2019

Fair Harbor by Joseph Crosby Lincoln

Fair Harbor is a forgotten, vintage novel that snuck up on me and captured my heart completely. I had read a couple of other light novels by Lincoln before and expected a pleasant escape from stress. But I did not expect the book to make me chuckle and cheer and worry so intensely for each beloved character.

Sears Kendrick is a young sea captain who is recuperating from injuries while living in the fictional city of Bayport, Massachusetts in the 1880s. He is anxious about never being able to regain enough strength to return to sea and wondering how he will make a living. Suddenly he's offered the job of managing a home for mariners' widows. There he meets a host of interesting characters including the lovely Elizabeth Berry.

In spite of some light swearing, I thoroughly enjoyed this well-told tale of small town life. In the midst of gossiping busy-bodies, bickering lovers and money-grabbing scoundrels, stands Captain Kendrick, a man of sterling character who is eager to do what is right even at the cost of his own happiness.

I am a sucker for stories of unrequited love and I suffered with my hero through every chapter of this book. On the other hand, I found Lincoln's New England slang highly amusing. P.G. Wodehouse makes me snicker, but J.C.L. elicits loud hoots of laughter.

This is not Jane Austen, people, but it's fun writing nevertheless. Like when Lincoln describes one of the Fair Harbor residents: Miss Elvira's thin figure stiffened to an exclamation point of disapproval. Or when he describes Miss Berry as being as cold as the bottom of the well to him.

Many of J.C. Lincoln's books are free for Kindle so I would encourage you to give him a try. Be forewarned that this book reflects its time period and twice refers to African Americans using words that are unacceptable by today's standards.


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