This was the smell of a new nation -- a free, proud, and hard-working people. It was the smell of burgeoning confidence, of optimism, of enterprise. It seemed as if the very air shimmered with promise.
Holbrook, NY (Vocus) November 5, 2010
Fire Island, has been published by author John J. Stevens, and is available online now, just in time for the holiday gift-giving season. It is a dramatic and well-written tale from the 19th century Age of Sail that artfully portrays the character of people who helped to make America what it was then, and what it is today.
The story takes place from November 1857 to November 1858 on Fire Island, a barrier beach off the coast of Long Island, New York, and in lower Manhattan.
A 10-mile stretch of ocean just off Fire Island became known as Wreck Valley because of the frequency of shipwrecks that occurred there. Numerous lives, ships and cargo were lost in these wrecks so close to shore. Fire Island skillfully portrays the dramatic shipwrecks and rescues on this beach in a thoroughly researched story that presents a dazzling and detailed tapestry of this robust era in American history.
"This was the smell of a new nation -- a free, proud, and hard-working people. It was the smell of burgeoning confidence, of optimism, of enterprise. It seemed as if the very air shimmered with promise." (Read sample…)
So thought Moses Howland Grinnell, one of the main characters in Fire Island, as he walked up the Street of Ships in Lower Manhattan on the morning of November 23rd, 1857. Just days later, one of his prized vessels, Young America, returning from a trading voyage to China, wrecked off the coast of Fire Island.
This shipwreck changed forever the life of the captain of the vessel William Trask. He loses his son, his crew, and one of his legs, but it also sets him on a strange new course in his life that he could never have guessed including his introduction to Cassandra Wolff, the woman who would save his life, and open his heart.
Fire Island tells the story of Trask, Wolff, Grinnell and a host of other characters from the time. Real historical facts and authentic people from the period are interwoven in this story with fictional people and events, in a beautifully-written tale of historical drama.
These are the times and the people who come alive on the pages of Fire Island on an epic scale.
It is a story in which you will get happily lost.