CROWN ISLAND (Quarrytown Novel)

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As a teenager, I decided not to end reading until I had at least given a book pages of my time. In Crown Island I got to I committed to read this book, so I wanted to finish it. But then I had to make a decision. One that I think will be good for my blog and for my life in the future…Reading, for me, is for pleasure. Crown Island began haunting me in my purse. It made me feel guilty when I dreaded picking it up again.

My love of reading took over, and I decided to give up on Crown Island and find something that did appeal to me. Ideally, there are many things that make a novel worthwhile: Crown Island does have an interesting idea-the back of the novel intrigued me. It was the delivery that ruined it for me. Crown Island fell short with its characters and its language. The dialogue in the novel appeared artificial and shallow. For example, the two main characters instantly fall in love as they read Greek poems aloud to each other.


Peter Chello is devoted to Marie Wainwright, and he sleeps with her quickly despite the fact that he has a fiancee. Was I the only one who felt sorry for Alice??? When did using large words equal knowledge??? Crown Island reminded me of The Great Gatsby, but not in a good way. Finally you realize that he loves the life she represents, not her. No back story is given to make all this foolishness understandable.

No explanation is given for their love, and I was left lost and annoyed. Thanks Jen and Swapna. As a lover of books, I hope I understand a little about all the work and courage it takes to write a novel and to send it out into the world. Lee Jacobus spent the time to write the love story that he wanted to tell.

Sadly, this novel did not appeal to me. Nevertheless, I hope that it finds an audience, I hope that Lee Jacobus gets some good reviews, and I hope that Peter and Marie ended up living happily ever after. May 02, Robin Donovan rated it it was amazing. Finishing Crown Island by Lee Jacobus made me sad; I am not optimistic about finding other novels as well written, insightful and relevant.

It is a modern novel with multi-dimensional characters who are real enough to reach out and touch. They are tragic as all humans are tragic at times, yet it's tragedy buoyed by hope and the hope is never lost, nor is it trivialized. Jacobus is a modern novelist who understands his talent well enough to eschew shock for the sake of shock; deftly escaping grat Finishing Crown Island by Lee Jacobus made me sad; I am not optimistic about finding other novels as well written, insightful and relevant.

Jacobus is a modern novelist who understands his talent well enough to eschew shock for the sake of shock; deftly escaping gratuitous despondence and chronic gloom, i. I liked it a hell of a lot better than Shipping News! Crown Island is a love story that is beautiful and delicate without the need for flawless and ethereal fantasy characters. The people are real - we've all met them. Their problems and self-limitations are real - we all have them.

Even the selfish and very limited wife, Alice, has enough redeeming qualities to make you hard pressed to turn against her. If we make assumptions as we read, that one character is the consummate teacher and one the student, we ultimately stumble upon the subtle twists and turns that enlighten and reveal a more realistic and fascinating symbiosis. I appreciated every moment of my reading experience. I'll probably read it again. Aug 23, Gabrielle rated it liked it. I read this because of having spent summers in Guilford, CT. It was good to read about the Thimble Islands, but I'm not sure why the author went to such lengths to make a fictional world.

Why not just call it what it is? What a fucking way to fight a war! Baruch Lev, nauseated by the odor of rotting flesh, fighting the cold of a desert night, suppressed his wish to be somewhere else. There below him, bivouacked in a dry riverbed, a demoralized Egyptian battalion dug in beneath their stalled half-tracks unaware their fox holes would soon contain corpses blackened by the sun. Vultures circling overhead would soon dive down to consume the bloated remains of Fellaheen abandoned by craven Generals fleeing catastrophe.


A glowing charcoal fire provided little warmth to the Egyptians chilled by the wind. Clouds scudded across the sky covering the moon. At sunrise, Baruch Lev would feel no pride killing untrained conscripts. Tall, wearing a worn khaki tunic, he was a Conscript. A young University student with his first command. No professional soldier would shelter his men in a Wadi death-trap. For six days Israeli tanks raced ahead of the Egyptians surrounding entire Divisions. Hannibal defeating the Romans. The Officer unbuckled his belt, pistol and holster falling to the ground.

Straightening his cap, buttoning his tunic, he stepped forward, out of the dark. Betrayed by incompetent leadership his men discarded weapons, abandoned fuel-starved tanks fleeing in a contagion of defeat, shedding illusions of glory and dreams of driving Israelis into the sea.

The officer halted, turned to locate the voice, peering into the night from under a sweat-stained garrison cap. Waiting for a reply that would be salvation. His war was over. Glad to be alive without showing the shame of defeat. Hardly able to load their guns. A Warrior on Parade. Crown Island, the most beautiful of the Granite Islands ranging out from Quarrytown, a harbor community in Connecticut, is the magical world of Marie Wainwright and Peter Chello.

Their love defies their differences in class, status, age, and culture. They are fated by the Gods to follow a challenging path. While married to others, they keep their love alive for thirty years. Marie, who has always lived on Crown Island, brings a world of knowledge to Peter, while Peter brings the muse back to her after the loss of her family. Marie's novels become celebrated and Peter, an artistic stonemason and builder, discovers a richness in life that could never have been his had he not fallen in love with Marie.

His path leads him to an understanding of how to share the gifts of love and life that he receives from his Idyll on Crown Island while staying true to his roots and his affection for Quarrytown.

Crown Island

An adult story in an adult novel. She lived on Crown island alone, the last of her family, a celebrity who kept mostly to herself, but still a youthful and beautiful woman. Peter Chello talked with her several times since he dropped out of the University, and each time she surprised him because of her warmth and her interest in his work. Others who worked on the island over the years found her mystifying, and brusque.

But since her husband and daughters had drowned, people became more charitable. They saw her now as more brave than distant. She had been dealt a cruel hand by the gods, and even those in Quarrytown with reason to feel resentful softened and spoke of her kindly. There was poetry everywhere one looked, she said.

And as they spoke Peter felt that she was not just talking with an employee, a stonemason from a family of stonemasons. She was talking with someone who understood the poetry of a beautiful vision. Not far from the dock sat the sailboat from which her husband and children were thrown.

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The Petrel had not been back in the water for years. He beached his skiff in the sand and examined the steps leading up from the pier, then went to the door, but no one answered. All he heard was muffled barking. Where could she be? He thought for a moment of the calamities in her life. What was she writing now? Back at the pier someone was swimming in the dark water toward him. All he saw at first were splashes of white, but soon Marie turned her face to breathe and then reached for the lowest step.

She emerged like Venus, dripping a tumult of water. She wore a stark white bathing suit and a white cap that she peeled off, shaking the excess water on the stones. Her dark hair flowed around her shoulders as she greeted him. He hardly had the presence of mind to say hello. She was intensely beautiful in this morning light. He watched her dry herself and wrap the towel around her shoulders.

I've know Bill Kelly for many years, and, until now, I've always considered him a reasonably stable and sane kind of guy. Then I read his book. What he has done is take the standard noir detective story of the Forties and Fifties ala Raymond Chandler , locate it heaven and hell, borrow characters from Hamlet, silent movies, and "The Godfather", add pagan gods and heroes, the plots of Milton's "Paradise Lost" and Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", and drench the whole mixture with a heavy dose of satire. He also provides a coterie of characters of his own invention such as Lance Petard, head of heaven's movie studio and keeper of the pet basilisk of the title.

His heaven is populated with the usual biblical characters, echelons of archangels, saints and such, but also with Hell's Angels who earned entry by bringing toys to tots , mafiosos, and England's worst poet. Hell is ruled by Lucifer, who prefers to be called Bob. The whole conceit runs on a plot wherein Colonel Stuckey, head of security in heaven, connives with Bob to displace God and put Bob in his place. The hero, Roscoe Duffy a retired police detective, recruits an assortment of angels and deceased souls to oppose Bob and the Colonel.

By now, perhaps, you can see this book is the work of an imagination running delightfully amok. It is also a hoot to read. I hope Kelly gets to write another one before they lock him up. Astral travel to the afterlife by two retired cops begins a tale that is both a ciffhanger and comic opera. After a lackluster career as a detective, Benny Spielmacher disappears during an impulsive astral journey to Heaven in search of inspiration for a musical version of Paradise Lost. His former partner, Roscoe Duffy, risks the deadly perils of Chaos to find him, and the two soon find themselves in a life-and-death struggle to defeat a colossal conspiracy that threatens God Himself.

To complicate matters, Roscoe falls in love with the late Rose Trautman and must figure out how to conduct an affair with a dead woman. In this witty romp through Heaven and Hell, the damned get limited air conditioning, a college education, and virtual sex.

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Chapter One Bad things happened to Roscoe Duffy when it rained. His potbellied pig got killed by a pit bull. He broke his left leg when his new sneakers slipped on wet leaves. Last week, a storm-blown tree crushed his Volvo. He had come to dread wet weather. Now, his burly frame slumped in the back of a cab, he was traveling through rain to respond to a frantic call from Lotti Spielmacher. Her brother, Benny, was in trouble. She was too distraught on the phone to be very coherent, but Roscoe had a bad feeling he knew exactly what kind of trouble.

He and Benny had been partners on the Lake City police force before they retired. Roscoe vainly tried to push aside his awful certainty that rain always brought him bad luck. Deep in his heart he knew the spritzing he was getting through an uncloseable gap in the right rear window was a foretaste of bad things to come.

He tucked his chin into the upturned collar of his raincoat just as the Pakistani cabby suddenly turned onto the wrong thruway. By now his raincoat was uncomfortably damp. Here we go again. The cab finally let him off in front of the yellow-brick apartment building where Benny shared a condo with his sister. The building dated to the s, when large rooms with mahogany woodwork gave young couples affordable space for raising a family and entertaining with a bit of style. It somehow survived the wrecking balls that broke the neighborhood down to electronics marts shuttered at night with accordion steel fencing, narrow bars with drink specials, Asian fast-food, and balloon graffiti.

Lotti answered the door. She was in her late forties, short, with a round face pulled tight by a spinsterish bun. She wore a black sweater over pendulous breasts, and green slacks stretched to their limit across her broad thighs. Years ago a rabbi had courted her but she had ended that relationship for reasons never revealed. Lotti had never warmed to Roscoe. Or maybe she thought a divorced guy was a bad influence on her bachelor brother.

Without even a "hello," she led him to a large living room with a faded oriental rug. Theater posters and photographs of famous stage actors covered the walls. A History of the American Theater lay open on a worn leather couch, and beside it, a book entitled Play Production. Books on play directing, costuming, and set design were scattered on flanking leather chairs and piled next to a tarnished brass lamp on an end table. With an eye to economy, he focused on works that were out of copyright.

Thus far he had had no luck with proposals and solicitations. The Musical as a solicitation for a home for runaway girls. Despite the rejections, Benny was optimistic.

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Tomorrow was another day. Tomorrow he would find that one backer who loved his proposal and would bankroll the whole thing. At the moment, he looked as though he were auditioning for the part of a corpse. He sat in a rocking chair facing the television set, dressed in his walk-about clothes: The cap also concealed the lump Roscoe put there with a rubber mallet two days earlier. Only the barely perceptible rise and fall of his chest showed he was alive.

Damn you for showing him how to do it! Steve Irwin, a struggling playwright, is devoted to his actress wife Helen. Because Helen is an alcoholic, she is forced to accept the loss of a promising career. Steve, accidentally shot by Helen, overcomes a paralysis of body and spirit through the love and compassion of Anne Bousquet, a nun who lost her vocation and returned to the world.

This is the story of three people Finding the courage to overcome Failure in the broadway theater, The war in the pacific, and doing "God's work" at an isolated South American Mission where poverty, ignorance and disease are mortal enemies. Steve Irwin reluctantly awoke from a restless sleep and looked about his unkempt room. The wall-mirror made him look dissolute. He had not lived as slovenly since bachelor days. He would be happy to have his wife home again. He sat propped against the headboard and looked out the window to see a brightly painted Tugboat pushing a string of overloaded Barges, cascades of tumbling waves and pounding Diesels fading as they moved downriver to New York, forty miles away.

Glancing at the sky he saw high Cirrus foretelling an approaching Front, and judging by scattered layers of Stratus clouds, today would be bright and clear. A good day for her homecoming. A good day to make a fresh beginning. A good day to start a marriage anew. The glare of the sun on the water created a ribbon of light flowing between the Highlands where the Fog Horn of a brick Lighthouse sounded its mournful tones long after the mist had burned away.