This Desired Place by Julia Older (Hancock, NH: Appledore Books, 2007)
This is the second book in Julia Older's Shoals trilogy and it was the 2007 gold medal finalist for Best Northeast Regional Fiction by the Independent Publisher Book Awards. It is also featured on the Reading Group Choices book discussion site. Julia Older is the author of 25 books and counting, and has been featured in the NH Poets Showcase. She lives in southern New Hampshire.
In this novel "Thom Taylor is cast onto the lawless Isles of Shoals at the gateway to the New World. Bawdy butcher Babb and his saucy Barbadoes serving wench quickly teach him the ropes of turning cod into cash. They are but a few of the real-life characters that help and hinder the fictive narrator of this sweeping 17th century saga." (quoted from jacket copy) The first book in the trilogy, Island Queen would be a great companion to last week's "Book of the Week"
"As I rowed back to Star Island I thought how each of the islands fostered salient traits much like people whose dispositions resemble their physical features. The way Church Island stuck into the Atlantic Ocean somehow made it more of a third party; whereas Star and Appledore, facing each other, shared pleasantries across the channel. Star had the practical advantage with its forts, though the garrison had but two rusty cannon." (p. 153)