The lost letters from Martha's Vineyard

Michael. Callahan

Book - 2024

In 1959, Hollywood ingenue Mercy Welles seems to have the world at her feet. Far removed from her Nebraska roots, she has crafted herself into a glamorous Oscar-nominated actress engaged to an up-and-coming director… Until she shockingly vanishes without a trace, just as her career is taking off. Almost sixty years later, Kit O’Neill, a junior television producer in Manhattan, is packing up her recently deceased grandmother’s attic, only to discover a long-lost box of souvenirs that reveal that the grandmother who raised her and her sister was, in fact, the mysterious Mercy Welles. Putting her investigative skills to use, Kit is determined to solve the riddle of her grandmother’s missing life, and the trail eventually leads to Marth...a’s Vineyard. Mercy retreats to the island nursing a broken heart, only to be drawn to the roguish Ren Sewards, who is not just the simple oysterman he appears to be but a scion of one of the island’s wealthy founding families. With her attraction to Ren quickly growing, Mercy soon finds herself entangled in the intrigues of the tightly knit community and the secrets of the Sewards. Alternating between Mercy and Kit’s timelines, including excerpts from letters Mercy wrote the summer she disappeared, The Lost Letters from Martha’s Vineyard unfurls into a heart-stopping story of love, betrayal, and even murder.

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FICTION/Callahan Michael
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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Callahan Michael (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 24, 2024
Subjects
Published
Boston, MA : MARINER BOOKS 2024.
Language
English
Main Author
Michael. Callahan (-)
Physical Description
320 p.
ISBN
9780063282605
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A woman learns her late grandmother was once a Hollywood starlet in the intriguing latest from Callahan (Searching for Grace Kelly). Kit O'Neill, a junior news program producer in Manhattan, is going through her recently deceased grandmother Nancy's belongings when she comes across a playbill for a 1959 production staged on Martha's Vineyard starring Mercy Welles. While searching on the internet for the actor, Kit is surprised to discover Mercy and Nancy were the same person. Eager to find out why her grandmother abandoned her acting career, Kit travels to Los Angeles and later to Martha's Vineyard to search for answers. In a parallel narrative set in 1959, Mercy rents a cottage on Martha's Vineyard to recover from a bad breakup from her Hollywood director boyfriend. While on the island, she agrees to appear in a local production of The Rose of Aquinnah and embarks on a romance with Ren Sewards, a taciturn oysterman. As Ren and Mercy get closer, she seeks answers about his broken relationship with his family and encounters danger when she gets too close to the truth. Callahan skillfully blends notes of mystery and romance in this layered story of family secrets. Readers will have a hard time putting it down. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (May)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A breezy, atmospheric novel dripping with secrets. When their beloved grandma Nan dies, sisters Kit and Claire O'Neill must empty out her house in suburban New York. In the attic (where else?), Kit discovers artifacts revealing their grandmother's hidden life as a young movie star in Hollywood. Kit, now a cable news producer, and Claire were raised by Nan after their parents died. Stunned by what she's uncovered, Kit vows to learn how Nebraska-bred Edith Stoppelmoor became Tinseltown's Mercy Welles...and then left it all behind. The novel shifts back and forth in time, from Mercy's exploits circa 1959 to Kit's sleuthing in 2018 and beyond. An up-and-comer in Hollywood, Mercy already has an Oscar nomination when we meet her. But after she finds out her fiance is two-timing her, she decides to take some time off in Martha's Vineyard, the fabled island off the coast of Massachusetts. There she meets Ren Sewards, an oyster fisherman estranged from his wealthy family. The two fall in love, and Mercy becomes involved in some serious island intrigue that may involve a killing or two. (A key scene takes place on Chappaquiddick, the tiny nearby island where Sen. Ted Kennedy famously drove his car off a bridge, triggering a major scandal.) Meanwhile, Kit is piecing together Mercy's story and ultimately winds up on the Vineyard herself, where she meets an attractive young man who could be connected to the decades-old mysteries. Callahan does a nice job describing the Vineyard and its storied past. While his dialogue is stilted in places, and there are a couple of lapses in logic (would Ren really know that Humphrey Bogart line from Casablanca?), the tight plotting carries you along. While it isn't deep, it's smooth and suspenseful--and hard to stop reading once you've begun. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.