Books by State: Maryland

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by [Colleen Oakley]
The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

“Piper Parrish’s life on Frick Island—a tiny, remote town smack in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay—is nearly perfect. Well, aside from one pesky detail: Her darling husband, Tom, is dead. When Tom’s crab boat capsized and his body wasn’t recovered, Piper, rocked to the core, did a most peculiar thing: carried on as if her husband was not only still alive, but right there beside her, cooking him breakfast, walking him to the docks each morning, meeting him for their standard Friday night dinner date at the One-Eyed Crab. And what were the townspeople to do but go along with their beloved widowed Piper?
Anders Caldwell’s career is not going well. A young ambitious journalist, he’d rather hoped he’d be a national award-winning podcaster by now, rather than writing fluff pieces for a small town newspaper. But when he gets an assignment to travel to the remote Frick Island and cover their boring annual Cake Walk fundraiser, he stumbles upon a much more fascinating tale: an entire town pretending to see and interact with a man who does not actually exist. Determined it’s the career-making story he’s been needing for his podcast, Anders returns to the island to begin covert research and spend more time with the enigmatic Piper—but he has no idea out of all the lives he’s about to upend, it’s his that will change the most.” – Amazon’s Summary

This was an absolute delight to read, truly a lovely story! A story about loss, love, community, and finding out what truly matters. It reminded me of the movie Lars and the Real Girl with Ryan Gosling. If you’ve never seen that movie before and you like this book, I’d recommend giving it a watch! They are both, at their core, about communities/families coming together to give support to the member who needs it most with no judgement – only care and understanding.

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island had several twists that led you to different possibilities surrounding Tom’s disappearance, Piper’s apparent psychological break, and the community’s ease at going along with it. Frick Island proves to be full of secrets, and Anders is the one who (exhaustingly) digs them all out to the surface. Anders’ motives are a familiar mix of selfish and altruistic. I think we have all had conflict between ambition and morals, so I never felt like how he went about his research was particularly malevolent. At his core, Anders is a good guy who makes blundering mistakes. Piper is not free of mistakes either, so it all evens out I believe.

Overall, I’d say this book is equal parts heart-warming and heart-wrenching. It’s a story of hope and human resilience. And all the quirky characters of Frick Island will make their way into your heart just as they did with Anders.

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