Leaving Rock Harbor by Rebecca Chace
A Novel

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Synopsis

An unforgettable coming-of-age story and a luminous portrayal of a dramatic era of American history, Rebecca Chace’s Leaving Rock Harbor takes readers into the heart of a New England mill town in the early twentieth century.

On the eve of World War I, fourteen-year-old Frankie Ross and her parents leave their simple life in Poughkeepsie to seek a new beginning in the booming city of Rock Harbor, Massachusetts. Frankie’s father finds work in a bustling cotton mill, but erupting labor strikes threaten to dismantle the town’s socioeconomic structure. Frankie soon befriends two charismatic young men—Winslow Curtis, privileged son of the town’s most powerful politician, and Joe Barros, a Portuguese mill worker who becomes a union organizer—forming a tender yet bittersweet love triangle that will have an impact on all three throughout their lives.

Inspired in part by Chace’s family history, Frankie’s journey to adulthood takes us through the First World War and into the Jazz Age, followed by the Great Depression—from rags to riches and back again. Her life parallels the evolution of the mill town itself, and the lost promise of a boomtown that everyone thought would last forever.

Of her acclaimed novel Capture the Flag, the Los Angeles Times said, "Chace’s writing resembles a generation of New York writers heavily influenced by John Updike: Rick Moody, A. M. Homes, Susan Minot, and, more recently, Melissa Bank." With its lyrical prose and compelling style, Leaving Rock Harbor further establishes Chace’s position in that literary tradition.
 

About Rebecca Chace

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Rebecca Chace is the author of Chautauqua Summer, a New York Times Notable Book, and the novel Capture the Flag, which was recently adapted into a short film. Chace cowrote the screenplay (with director Lisanne Skyler) and acts in the film. Chace is also the author of several plays, has contributed to The New York Times Magazine and The New York Times Book Review, among other publications, and teaches at Bard College and the MFA Creative Writing Program at City College. She lives in New York City.www.rebeccachace.com
 
Published May 5, 2010 by Scribner. 308 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Leaving Rock Harbor

The New York Times

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When Clayton walks along the beach just before the storm, he notices orange-and-black butterflies trying to fly while “mixed with the salt spray.” Then “tumbling over the sand were bright scraps of butterflies that had been ripped apart in the wind.” A ­storyteller with this fine an eye might put...

Jul 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Leaving Rock Harbor: A Novel

The New York Times

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Two novels, framed by events, reconstruct history through relationships filled with love and fraught with loss.

Jul 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Leaving Rock Harbor: A Novel

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Despite the strong class differences, Winslow and Joe are fast friends and Frankie too becomes a strong element of their friendship.

May 31 2010 | Read Full Review of Leaving Rock Harbor: A Novel

Reader Rating for Leaving Rock Harbor
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