Cover image for To the New Owners : a Martha's Vineyard Memoir
Title:
To the New Owners : a Martha's Vineyard Memoir
Author:
Blais, Madeleine, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017.
Physical Description:
270 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
"In the 1970s, Madeleine Blais' in-laws purchased a vacation house on Martha's Vineyard for the exorbitant sum of $80,000. 2.2 miles down a poorly marked, one lane dirt road, the house was better termed a shack--it had no electricity, no modern plumbing, the roof leaked, and mice had invaded the walls. It was perfect. Sitting on Tisbury Great Pond--well-stocked with oysters and crab for foraged dinners--the house faced the ocean and the sky, and though it was eventually replaced by a sturdier structure, the ethos remained the same: no heat, no TV, and no telephone. Instead, there were countless hours at the beach, meals cooked and savored with friends, nights talking under the stars, until at last, the house was sold in 2014. To the New Owners is Madeleine Blais' charming, evocative memoir of this house, and of the Vineyard itself--from the history of the island and its famous visitors to the ferry, the pie shops, the quirky charms and customs, and the abundant natural beauty. But more than that, this is an elegy for a special place. Many of us have one place that anchors our most powerful memories. For Blais, it was the Vineyard house--a retreat and a dependable pleasure that also measured changes in her family. As children were born and grew up, as loved ones aged and passed away, the house was a constant. And now, the house lives on in the hearts of those who cherished it"--
Language:
English
Contents:
Blue gold -- The shack -- Turn right, turn left -- The new house -- Summer notes -- The Jaws effect -- Operating instructions -- The ideal guest -- Mr. Ulf, famous writer -- Phil -- What Kay Graham brought to the table -- Boiling the Pope -- "She is not so young now" -- Time to leave -- Great dark cattle -- At rest.
ISBN:
9780802126573

9780802127877
Format :
Book

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F72.M5 B55 2017 Adult Non-Fiction New Materials
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Summary

Summary

In the 1970s, Madeleine Blais's in-laws purchased a vacation house on Martha's Vineyard for the exorbitant sum of $80,000. A little more than two miles down a poorly marked one-lane dirt road, the house was better termed a shack--it had no electricity or modern plumbing, the roof leaked, and mice had invaded the walls. It was perfect.

Sitting on Tisbury Great Pond--well-stocked with oysters and crab for foraged dinners--the house faced the ocean and the sky, and though it was eventually replaced by a sturdier structure, the ethos remained the same: no heat, no TV, and no telephone. Instead, there were countless hours at the beach, meals cooked and savored with friends, nights talking under the stars, until in 2014, the house was sold.

To the New Owners is Madeleine Blais's charming, evocative memoir of this house, and of the Vineyard itself--from the history of the island and its famous visitors to the ferry, the pie shops, the quirky charms and customs, and the abundant natural beauty. But more than that, this is an elegy for a special place. Many of us have one place that anchors our most powerful memories. For Blais, it was the Vineyard house--a retreat and a dependable pleasure that also measured changes in her family. As childrenwere born and grew up, as loved ones aged and passed away, the house was a constant. And now, the house lives on in the hearts of those who cherished it.


Author Notes

Madeleine Blais was a reporter for the Miami Herald for years before joining the faculty of the School of Journalism at the University of Massachusetts. She is the author of In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle , Uphill Walkers , and The Heart Is an Instrument , a collection of her journalism.

Madeleine Blais lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle (1994) pays tribute with affection and humor to the shabby but supremely well-located Martha's Vineyard house, owned by her in-laws, where she and her family spent two weeks every summer for many years, and which was sold after her husband's parents' death. Usually keeping nostalgia in witty check, while occasionally allowing it to shape a lyrical portrait of the place, she takes the reader on a verbal tour of the island, recalls weddings and a shocking death, comments on passages from the family logbook, and cites rules for the ideal guest (Either like dogs, or pretend to). She places their experience into the wider context of the island as a whole, as the spot where Teddy Kennedy's companion drowned after his car went off the bridge at Chappaquiddick, or where Jaws was filmed. Although the subject matter may be lightweight, Blais fills her book with sentences to savor and memories so clear they seem to become the reader's own.--Quamme, Margaret Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Blais (In These Girls) affectionately recounts the summers she spent since the 1970s on Martha's Vineyard in a small, unassuming cabin that lacked TV and a telephone. Purchased by her in-laws, the cabin became a place where Blais enjoyed relaxing vacations and was also a repository of her family's history. Blais beautifully documents summers shared with family and friends enjoying unhurried days spent reading, visiting the quirky island towns, and basking in the natural environment. Blais weaves in a history of the island and its famous personages, its beauty, and its tourism-dependent economy. The author chronicles the island's evolution from a rather remote and quiet place to one overwhelmed by megamansions, traffic, and weekenders' noisy jets. The cabin was eventually sold, yet it retains its hold on Blais. When packing up for the last time, she laments the loss: "The value of what we could not take was astronomical. How do you pack a view? Can you fold it up, smoothing out the wrinkles, and then protect it with Styrofoam peanuts?" Blais has written a bittersweet account of a wonderfully unplugged summer life. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

1 Blue Goldp. 1
2 The Shackp. 19
3 Turn Right, Turn Leftp. 42
4 The New Housep. 67
5 Summer Notesp. 87
6 The Jaws Effectp. 113
7 Operating Instructionsp. 136
8 The Ideal Guestp. 143
9 Mr. Ulf, Famous Writerp. 154
10 Philp. 161
11 What Kay Graham Brought to the Tablep. 174
12 Boiling the Popep. 191
13 "She Is Not So Young Now"p. 211
14 Time to Leavep. 221
15 Great Dark Cattlep. 230
16 At Restp. 251
Acknowledgmentsp. 269