On Memorial Day, I achieved one of my personal goals by having a signing of The Sense of Reckoning at Sherman’s Books in Bar Harbor (“The Oldest Bookstore in Maine”). Sherman’s is just what you want in an indy bookstore: a curated selection of books (with plenty of offerings by local authors and on local topics), knowledgeable staff, and creaking wooden floors. Plus I now know where the hidden door is that leads to the spooky basement and the employee restroom!
I was joined at Sherman's by Sean Cox, who provided his historical expertise to ensure the details of the Fire of 1947 and mid-century MDI I used in Reckoning were accurate. (I'm looking forward to catching up with Sean again on October 27 when we will be giving a talk at Bar Harbor’s Jesup Library on “Fact and Fiction: The Fire of ’47.”)
In fact, the whole weekend on Mt. Desert Island, was a tour of Ann Kinnear’s world. Wade and I stayed at The Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor, which is the inspiration for Lynam’s Point Hotel (minus the deteriorating conditions and, one assumes, the criminal goings-on), and strolled down to the boathouse where Ann meets Chip Lynam’s spirit.
Photo by Wade Walton
We had breakfast in the room overlooking Somes Sound (Lynam Narrows in the book) where Garrick Masser speaks with Loring Lynam. We examined the infamous elevator. (With the hotel itself not yet open to guests, it’s currently being used for storage.)
We drove on the road that Chip took between Lynam’s Point and the grand “cottage,” Jardin d’Eden, and that cuts through one of the parts of the island that was burned by the fire. We walked the streets that Ann and Scott walked and admired the view of the harbor that they enjoyed during their visit to MDI. We even stopped in Cool as a Moose, the (unnamed) store where Ann and Scott purchase some moose-themed souvenirs of their visit.
I love visiting places that are the settings for stories that have captured my imagination—what is a place you’ve visited after reading a book, or a book you’ve read after visiting a certain place?