First Light Series 

 

THE BOAT HOUSE CAFÉ

 

The islanders of Chappaquiddick have a saying: “Some come here to hide; others to heal.”

 

Mae Keaney returns to Chappaquiddick Island at the beginning of World War II determined to distance herself from a past filled with pain and regret.

 

Fiercely independent, she defies both the societal conventions of the island and its unforgiving natural world until a catastrophic fire threatens her livelihood, the Boat House Café.

 

After reluctantly accepting help from a Wampanoag tribal member, she forms an uneasy alliance that leads her to an understanding of the wisdom of the “People of the First Light” and restores her faith in herself.

Historical Fiction, 344 pages, 5 x 8

Trade Paperback, $14.95, ISBN: 978-1942209003

E-Book, $4.29, ISBN: 978-1942209010

Praise and Honors for The Boat House Café

CHANTICLEER INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS ~ First Place in The Goethe Award for 20th-Century Historical Fiction

"Cardillo evokes the clapboard ports of New England with sensuous prose. . . A sympathetic depiction of the oft-forgotten New England Native American heritage in this picturesque corner of the Vineyard."--Kirkus Reviews

"In this beautiful, lyrical novel, Linda Cardillo creates a fierce, strong-willed heroine, unafraid of hard work, solitude, or the judgment of her fellow islanders."--Judith Arnold, USA Today Bestselling Author

"The Boat House Café is a delicious read, which I devoured in a single sitting. Linda Cardillo's writing is sensuous and full of feeling without being sentimental. The beautiful prose carried me to the island community of Martha's Vineyard and into the lives of Mae Keaney and Tobias Monroe. The principal characters evoke compassion with their flaws and inspire with their strength. The supporting cast adds the rich texture of conflicting cultures. Although set in the 1940's, the challenges of identity, loyalty and authenticity make this story more than relevant for today's reader. If you have been to Martha's Vineyard, this is a must read. If you have not set foot on Chappaquiddick, The Boat House Café will bind you with the spell of "First Light". Cardillo's sense of place mixed with genuine emotion is a recipe that truly does "nurture the soul." I am hungry for the sequel."--B. L. Moulton

"Ultimately, this beautifully written, passionate, page-turning adventure of a blended family history and a romance of grand proportions will have readers yearning to continue the series with The Uneven Road and Island Legacy."--Chanticleer Book Reviews

"...a beautiful story with powerful plot points and emotions that pull the reader in, allowing them to connect to the protagonist and stay tuned with the other characters....Linda Cardillo has the gift of penetrating the hidden layers of a woman’s heart, exploring complex emotions in characters and bringing out the best in their humanity. Mae’s transformation doesn’t happen in a day and readers will eagerly follow her character development curve. 


The prose is crisp, at times poetic, and loaded with descriptions that are finely done and that grab the reader’s attention in an irresistible way. The themes of family, war, friendship, solitude, and intercultural relationships are masterfully explored in this narrative. The Boat House Café: Book One of First Light is a compelling opening in a series, a novel with powerful themes, a gripping narrative style, and an ingenious plot structure that makes it a work of great entertainment." - Ruffina Oserio, Readers' Favorite

THE UNEVEN ROAD

 

A mixed-race boy searches for his identity and home in the volatile 1960s.

 

Innisfree—the wild and isolated land on Chappaquiddick Island where Josiah Monroe grew up—was only place where he felt he belonged.

 

And now it was gone.

 

His parents’ painful decision to sell the land—the symbol of his mixed Wampanoag and Irish heritage—catapults the entire family into a spiral of disconnection as Josiah abandons the island in anger. He makes his way on an uneven road, seeking to redefine himself in a wider, more dangerous world marked by the turmoil of the Vietnam War and the cultural upheaval of the Sixties.

 

In the wake of his leaving, his family struggles not only with Josiah’s alienation but also with the debilitating polio suffered by his sister, Izzy. Ultimately, it is the power and magic of the island itself and the bonds of family that call them back to one another.

Historical Fiction, 380 pages, 5 x 8

Trade Paperback, $16.95, ISBN: 978-1942209232

E-Book, $9.99, ISBN: 978-1942209263

 

Praise and Honors for The Uneven Road

 

THE BOOKLIFE PRIZE ~ Semi-finalist in General Fiction

“A measured, riveting tale, written in a confident, impassioned voice.“ ~ Kirkus Reviews

"The Uneven Road is a sophisticated coming-of-age novel that intersects with historical events of this period. . . . written with verve and intelligence. Cardillo carefully constructs The Uneven Road with rich characterizations, diverging and interlocking plot elements, and fine attention to detail that explores family dynamics and the search for individual identity. . . .Captivatingly infused with often raw emotions and haunting memories of race, heritage, culture, and family dynamics, The Uneven Road, scatters its characters over time and place and draws them back together again with enduring values of family love and respect for heritage." - Chanticleer Book Reviews

 

ISLAND LEGACY

 

“Innisfree binds us.”

 

When Lydia Hammond encourages her grieving granddaughter, Elizabeth Innocenti, to spend the summer at Innisfree, the family’s compound on Chappaquiddick Island, Elizabeth undertakes the journey from her home in Italy with her fourteen-year-old son, hoping to heal from the devastating loss of her husband after a long illness.

 

Innisfree holds cherished memories of an idyllic childhood for Elizabeth. But when she arrives, she finds the place abandoned, derelict and as needy as she is. A reluctant steward, Elizabeth undertakes the task of making the cottage habitable until a hurricane forces her to take shelter with the Monroes, the Wampanoag family who once owned Innisfree.

 

The fraught and tangled history between her grandmother and the Monroes pulls Elizabeth into a passionate search for Innisfree’s meaning for both families. At the same time, her challenging relationship with Caleb Monroe, the grandson of Mae and Tobias, shatters her perception of who she is and what she wants.

 

In the midst of grief, a new generation defines where home is

 

Historical Fiction, 402 pages, 5 x 8

Trade Paperback, $17.95, ISBN: 978-1942209379

E-Book, $9.99, ISBN: 978-1942209386

 

Praise for Island Legacy

 

"A tender, spirited family tale to complete a warm, earnest series." - Kirkus Reviews

 

"Cardillo’s poignant novel is a winding, intriguing story of relatable suffering—the sorrow of losing loved ones, traversing long distances to visit those dear to us, and the pain (and growth) that arises through profound life changes." The BookLife Prize

Bellastoria Press
Copyright 2020