Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What is Brenda Bowen reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Brenda Bowen, author of Enchanted August.

Her entry begins:
At last year’s Book Expo conference in New York, I was accosted by a wilting publicist at the Scribner booth. It was almost the end of the event, and supplies, and energy, were running low. “Miranda July?” she said, hopefully.

I snapped up the galley she offered me. One Summer Friday a few years ago, I had left the office blissfully at 1PM and headed down to the Independent Film Center in the Village to see Miranda July’s oddball film The Future. It was “highly idiosyncratic,” to quote one reviewer: ostensibly about a couple of tentative Brooklynites who adopts a cat, it was really about the workings of July’s highly neurotic mind. I loved it.

So when I got the galley for The First Bad Man a year ago I read it right away. And I just...[read on]
About Enchanted August, from the publisher:
Set on a picture-perfect island in Maine, a sparkling summer debut that offers readers a universal fantasy: one glorious month away from it all

On a dreary spring day in Brooklyn, Lottie Wilkinson and Rose Arbuthnot spot an ad on their children’s preschool bulletin board:

Hopewell Cottage
Little Lost Island, Maine.
Old, pretty cottage to rent on a small island.
Springwater, blueberries, sea glass.

Neither can afford it, but they are smitten—Lottie could use a break from her overbearing husband and Rose from her relentless twins. On impulse, they decide to take the place and attract two others to share the steep rent: Caroline Dester, an indie movie star who’s getting over a very public humiliation, and elderly Beverly Fisher, who’s recovering from heartbreaking loss. If it’s not a perfect quartet, surely it will be fine for a month in the country.

When they arrive on the island, they are transformed by the salt air; the breathtaking views; the long, lazy days; and the happy routine of lobster, corn, and cocktails on the wraparound porch. By the time of the late-August blue moon, real life and its complications have finally fallen far, far away. For on this idyllic island they gradually begin to open up: to one another and to the possibilities of lives quite different from the ones they’ve been leading. Change can’t be that hard, can it?

With a cast of endearingly imperfect characters and set against the beauty of a gorgeous New England summer, Enchanted August brilliantly updates the beloved classic The Enchanted April in a novel of love and reawakening that is simply irresistible.
Visit Brenda Bowen's website.

Writers Read: Brenda Bowen.

--Marshal Zeringue