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The HomePort Journals, A Provincetown Fantasia Paperback – 18 Mar 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
The debut novel from A. C. Burch, The HomePort Journals, is a novel that eludes me in terms of genre:
There are elements of paranormality, there’s a dash of eroticism, there’s romance, there’s mystery, even a faint hint of thriller, there’s plenty of epic saga, excitement, woven together by exquisite descriptions of locations and characters that literally sprang to life before my inner eye.
I have to apologize if I didn’t know that Provincetown was a real place when I picked up the book, there is a drawn map at the beginning, and I wasn’t sure if it was aimed at making it easier to picture an imaginary place or just serve those among us geographically challenged. Turns out that Provincetown is the equivalent to Europe’s Sitges, a very real place on the Eastern Massachusetts seaboard. Sorry for my ignorance, and thank goodness for Google and maps! The reason why I googled the name of the town was because our main protagonist, Marcus, or Marc as he prefers to go by, drove all night from New York to Provincetown. Why, that you can read for yourself. It made me curious as to where the story plays out. I often do that, do get a better feel for a book.
When you start to read a new story, it usually takes you a while before you’re drawn into it, you need information about the place to get a decent picture. The HomePort Journals is no different, yet as we’re immediately thrown off the deep end and straight into action, with Marc chasing groceries on a rainy main street, the start stretch is shorter than usual. I was hooked, particularly when he returns to his hot chocolate and finds it gone, drunk by the lady he tried to help.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It’s basically a very upbeat tale, with some very funny parts, plus a totally unexpected surprise near the end.
The author, who lives in P’town himself, gives us a realistic view of this magical town. I have my own happy memories of many of the places he mentions in his book.
While you won’t find the actual Homeport building, it would surely be nice if it were really there.
The estranged dowagers, Lola and Dorrie, are the kingpins around whom the plots within plots revolve. They have history neither is comfortable talking about, yet after Marc Nugent is given refuge he becomes the catalyst for setting events in motion that reveal the secrets and lies that have informed their sixty-odd year relationship. I absolutely adored these two strong, opinionated women—their compassion, insight and unwavering devotion to tradition and service to their community grounds every scene with a grace and style reminiscent of another day and age.
The Homeport Journals is at once a romance, a mystery and a coming-of-age tale that touches on so many facets of the human experience that I was, quite simply, blown away. Marc and Cole are young men trapped inside their own insecurities and fears. Alone they face their inner turmoils with denial or soul-numbing acquiescence; together they discover that friendship and love are
but two of the many ways to reach out and embrace a larger world of acceptance and understanding.
Helena is the delightful, outrageous, captivating cross-dresser whose flashes of dual identities present a sometimes terrifying glimpse into what it’s like to wear one skin over two personalities. She is gloriously over-the-top, heart-wrenchingly vulnerable, and prone to the kind of drama that makes for some of the most memorable moments in this story.
The Homeport Journals is also, at its core, a lesson in how the past insinuates the present, when those who went before were faced with choices that altered forever their place in history. As Marc, Cole and Helena conspire to piece together past events in order to understand a reality turned rigid and uncompromising, they uncover a tale of betrayal, abuse and infidelity buried in memory.
Through it all, Marc lives with a dark fear that the man he fled from will seek him out and ruin all he has worked to achieve—a home, friends, a place in the community. When his worst fears materialize, Marc confronts more than just an abuser, putting to the test all that he has learned about himself and the people who matter in his world.
This is a poignant, beautifully written story, filled with wonderful personalities who will capture your heart. There is depth and breadth to the characters, each drawn with perception and dignity, so much so you recognize at once the humanity and soul residing within each one. You care, deeply, about them, about their history, about the place that insinuates the very fiber of their being. And as the mystery unfolds, the pacing and clues and revelations seamlessly draw the reader in. The narrative prose is crafted so perfectly that past and present exist side-by-side, their interconnectedness a revelation and a comfort.
This is a literary work of exceptional merit. It is epic in nature, yet intensely intimate in execution, gorgeously rendered in exquisite detail, and told with heart-felt honesty. It bears a message of hope and love, compassion and tolerance, of simple joys and overcoming the roadblocks life sometimes thrusts in your path.
I loved The Homeport Journals, unreservedly, and give it my highest recommendation. You can see the full review post on the GGR-Review blog.