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The Ghost Trap

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by K. Stephens
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The Ghost Trap by K. Stephens

The haunting story of Jamie Eugley, a young lobsterman struggling with the grinding responsibilities of a head-injured fiance and mounting trap wars, The Ghost Trap is a modern tale with an old-fashioned hero who puts family and heritage before self. In the end it’s not just about lobstering, but about one man’s sorrow for not appreciating the love he had, however damaged. Written with sensitivity and rich description, this is a piercingly accurate depiction of life in a small Maine lobstering community.

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Reviewed by The Morning Sentinel
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]   Date Added: Wednesday 02 June, 2010

Fiction about Maine lobstering and life on the working waterfront is usually coarse, profane and gritty, and THE GHOST TRAP is no different but for one exception. This sensitive and dramatic story is notable for its convincing humanity. THE GHOST TRAP is the powerful debut novel of Maine writer K. Stephens, a woman whose published articles have covered schooners, food, wine, teenagers and Maine personalities. Here she debunks the tourists' romantic image of Maine fishermen, revealing the hard work of lobstering, the strict, unwritten codes of territoriality and conflict resolution, disintegrating traditions, violence, alcohol and drug abuse and economic despair. Jamie Eugley is a 27-year-old third- generation lobsterman from Petit Point on Penobscot Bay, struggling to make boat and truck payments while also caring for his brain-damaged girlfriend, Anja. She was injured while fishing with him, and the weight of Jamie's guilt is wearing him down. As if he doesn't have enough to worry about, arrogant yachties are poaching lobsters, the foul-mouthed, violent and drug-dealing Fogartys are about to start a trap war, and a newcomer ignores all the local customs and fishes in Jamie's territory. Jamie does his best to help Anja with her slow recovery, but she is nearly helpless, entirely dependent on him for everything, a heavy burden indeed. But then Jamie meets Happy, a carefree girl working on a summertime schooner. He likes her because "You make my drinking look like it's not a problem," and he knows that only bad things can result from this quirky relationship. Stephens is a masterful storyteller, smartly blending her vividly descriptive narrative with action, suspense, a haunting atmosphere and very clever, bawdy and colorful dialogue. The conclusion is believable and strangely satisfying, with a few plot twists and a strong element of predictable sadness.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]   Date Added: Wednesday 02 June, 2010

In her impressive debut novel, Stephens offers a rugged and tender tale. Jamie Eugley, a ninth-generation lobsterman in the port village of Owls Head has cared for his brain-injured girlfriend, Anja, for three long years. Jamie suffers deep guilt over her near drowning accident while aboard his lobster boat and her subsequent debilitating coma. Anja's medical improvement has been frustratingly slow, but Jamie continues to nurse his naïve, stubborn fantasy of marrying the recovered Anja. Meanwhile, he deals with a dangerous and violent trap war among the lobstermen and a romance with Happy Klein, a first mate on a tourist schooner up for the summer season who wants Jamie to come back with her to Key West. The bawdy humor, snappy dialogue, colorful local sea myths and rich lobstering details add to the immense appeal of this textured narrative about a superstitious but independent lobsterman's inward and outward struggles. (Sept.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Ebook Details
Size: 778 KB
Publisher: Leapfrog Press
Date published:  Sep 2009
ISBN: 9781935248057 (DRM-PDF)

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Fiction > Literary

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