BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Spotlight On: The Harbormaster's Daughter by Heidi Jon Schmidt

Sunbathing (or in my case, burning :D), ice cream cones, mini golf, and sand between your toes--- these are all fun things to do in the summertime on Cape Cod. The Cape is a gorgeous, comfy place to spend a lazy summer; I've enjoyed time spent there with family and friends. But for 16-year-old Vita Gray, living in the beautiful vacation town of Oyster Creek is more of a nightmare than a vacation. Cape Cod native, and author of "The House On Oyster Creek", Heidi Jon Schmidt brings readers a beautifully written tale of life, love, and loss in "THE HARBORMASTER’S DAUGHTER".

Set in Cape Cod’s small fishing village of Oyster Creek, readers meet 16-year-old Vita Gray, the illegitimate daughter of Franco Neves, a married fisherman of Portuguese ancestry; and Sabine Gray, an art restorer from “the other side of the bridge.” When Sabine is brutally murdered, Vita is adopted by Sabine’s closest friend, LaRee Farnham, who carefully shields her from the knowledge of the murder, and the huge rifts it exposed in the community. Now a teenager, Vita begins to emerge from her shyness and isolation, and she starts to learn the candid truth about the murder of her mother.

Inspired by the tragic murder of Cape Cod resident Christa Worthington in 2002, which made huge headlines here in Massachusetts, Schmidt brings readers the tragic and hopeful tale of a young girl on a search to find her identity, and more importantly to find out who her mother truly was and why she was murdered. Not only is "THE HARBORMASTER’S DAUGHTER" a coming of age story of a teenage girl, but a novel about the rich history and complex geography of life on Cape Cod.

Readers everywhere will connect not only to the beautiful scenery of Cape Cod, but to young Vita Gray, who truly begins to find herself after the death of her mother and the struggles she endures living in a small town. "THE HARBORMASTER’S DAUGHTER" will have readers laughing, crying and most importantly, wanting more.


By: Heidi Jon Schmidt
Publisher: NAL Trade Paperback Original
ISBN: 978-0-451237873
Format: Trade Paperback
Length: 368 pages
Release Date: August 7, 2012

Book Blurb (from goodreads):

On a freezing January night, LaRee Farnham answers a knock at her door to find a policewoman holding three-year old Vita Gray, whose mother has just been murdered a few miles away. LaRee raises Vita with fierce love and attention, while trying to shield her from the aftermath of the murder, which has deeply divided the historic village of Oyster Creek.

Born out of wedlock, Vita is the product of the town’s two very different cultures: the hardworking fishing families of Portuguese descent and the "washashores” from the mainland who’ve drifted to the coast for its beauty. At sixteen, Vita is shy and isolated, estranged from her father and bullied at school, but she is determined to come out of herself, step by step.

When the shocking details of her past surface suddenly, Vita feels utterly betrayed by those closest to her, and the fraught tension between Oyster Creek’s two cultures comes to a head. LaRee must ask hard questions about herself as a mother, while Vita turns to unexpected avenues to find meaning and discovers that the truth is almost never found in black and white....


Heidi Jon Schmidt is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and author of four books, "THE HOUSE ON OYSTER CREEK", "THE BRIDE OF CATASTROPHE", "DARLING?" and "THE ROSE THIEVES".

Her essays and stories have been published in The New York Times,The Atlantic, Grand Street, Yankee, The Boston Globe etc., and heard on National Public Radio. Her stories have been included in The O'Henry Awards, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Twenty under Thirty and others.

She is married to the writer RD Skillings, and has lived in Provincetown Massachusetts for 25 years--long enough that she dared to set "THE HOUSE ON OYSTER CREEK" among the oyster farms at the tip of Cape Cod.

The Washington Post Book World has said "It is impossible to disentangle the comic from the tragic in Schmidt's writing. She is incapable of cliche."

Find Heidi online at:



Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let;s talk!