In Boyle’s latest book, San Miguel, he again mines the riches of a very particular time and place—the remote California island of San Miguel during the late 19th and early 20th century. First, an ill woman and her Civil War veteran husband land on the desolate island seeking a return to health and a chance to start anew. But this isolated and lonely life is a difficult adjustment for these city folk, and their daughter soon rebels against their simple lifestyle.


Next the story transitions to the 1930s, when a World War I veteran and his wife stake a claim on the same island. While the new life suits them, as another war looms on the horizon, the family worries that living on an island off the Pacific coast may pose dangers they hadn’t anticipated.


Publishers Weekly says of the author’s latest, “the novel is primarily a history of the land itself, unchanging despite its various visitors and residents, and as beautiful, imperfect, and unrelenting as Boyle’s characters.”


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