Boy, have I got a whopper of a tale for you! Janice Clark’s The Rathbones harpooned me body and soul and is now my favorite read of the summer. It’s got something for everyone.
About The Book:
A literary adventure set in New England, Janice Clark’s gothic debut chronicles one hundred years of a once prosperous seafaring dynasty.
Moses, the revered patriarch of the Rathbone family, possessed an otherworldly instinct for spotting the whale. But years of bad decisions by the heirs to his fortune have whittled his formerly robust family down to just one surviving member: a young girl, left to live in the broken-down ancestral mansion that at one time had glowed golden with the spoils of the hunt.
Mercy, fifteen years old, is the diminutive scion of the Rathbone clan. Her father, the last in the dynasty of New England whalers, has been lost at sea for seven years-ever since the last sperm whale was seen off the coast of Naiwayonk, Connecticut. Mercy’s memories of her father and of the time before he left grow dimmer each day, and she spends most of her time in the attic hideaway of her reclusive Uncle Mordecai, who teaches her the secrets of Greek history and navigation through his collection of moldering books. But when a strange, violent visitor turns up one night on the widow’s walk, Mercy and Mordecai are forced to flee the house and set sail on a journey that will bring them deep into the haunted history of the Rathbone family.
Inspired by The Odyssey and infused with beautifully detailed descriptions of the realities of coastal and ship life reminiscent of Moby Dick, Janice Clark’s magnificent debut is a spellbinding literary adventure.
About The Author:
Janice Clark is a writer and designer living in Chicago. She grew up in Mystic, Connecticut (land of whaling and pizza) and has lived in Montreal, Kansas City, San Francisco, and New York, where she earned an MFA in writing at NYU. Her short fiction has appeared in Pindeldyboz and The Nebraska Review and her design work is represented in the Museum of Modern Art. The Rathbones, which she also illustrated, is her first novel.
Part Moby Dick, part Greek tragedy, part Poe, part coming-of-age tale, The Rathbones is like one of those sea sirens of yore. Once you begin reading this enchanting story, you’re a goner. You won’t be able to resist the pull of Clark’s enticingly rich characters or her magnificent setting. With a novel like this, who’d even want to resist? Go ahead and jump in.