"It's summer 1974 on an island off the coast of Connecticut, and all Jack Smith wants is a vacation like he enjoyed in his youth:
swimming, sailing and sunshine.
But Jack finds his summer plans quickly spiraling out of control.
His estranged wife follows him to the island looking for money.
The priest and constable are conspiring his ruin.
And the local Lolita is intent upon seducing him.
Jack suddenly has more problems than he can handle, and he deals with them the only way he knows how:
with rum and romance, all leading to a calamitous Fourth of July in Kevin Dowd's hilarious first novel."
Paperback published by Roundabout Press.
The currently available formats are:
"I wanted my life back.my husband and my children. But more
urgently, I needed money. I was a little hungover, too. I sat in the
banker's waiting room with felt wallpaper, vinyl chairs and a
tulip lamp, listening to the typewriters and eavesdropping on the
receptionist. She was clearly on the phone with a friend, making
me wait unnecessarily. I walked up to the desk and knocked on
its surface, politely..."
Sam Haft reads Jack Smith, Rob and Father Ivan
"I'd presided over some awful parishes in the past—Norwich, Norwalk
—any distressed place that began with the letter 'n' in the state of
I'd never been terribly political, so I had to endure a variety of
personally degrading assignments in exchange for a pastorage I considered
fit for myself.
It made me cynical.
But I was delighted to have summers on the island again, like when
I was a child...
Justine Davis reads Allison
"Jack and I watched my craggy old aunt leave.
'Look at all the red ants,' he said, looking for something to
I inspected my aunt's pie, to see that it was wrapped well
enough so that the ants couldn't get to it.
'Do you want a beer?' I asked.
'I do. But you can't be drinking beer. Your aunt would kill
'Oh, I'm not going to drink any..."
Frantz Lecoeur reads Wilson
I was the nighttime maintenance man at the Crescent Club
during the summers. It was a good job. I got to leave New
London behind for a few months and stay out on the island.
Those folks came from a different life than me.I was the only
black person on the island. But we got along fine. When they
were there, cooking their steaks and having a few drinks, they'd
invite me to sit with them. So I did. I was there when...
Bart Fogel reads Cap'n Bob
"It was the race committee's job to set up the sailing course,
conduct the races and record the results. In most of our races,
we had three components: a starting line, a windward mark and
a leeward mark. Typically, the sailboats first competed to reach
the windward mark. As boats arrived at the windward mark, they
would round it and race toward the leeward mark..."
Karen Brady reads Donna Grimaldi
"My name is Donna Grimaldi. My son, Nicky, was friends with the
Smith boys. My daughter Patty and I had been over to the Smith
house to pick flowers earlier in the week, and Martha had come
back to our house for dinner.
It was the afternoon of the Fourth of July, and I was
searching for Patty at the Crescent Club. The other girls in her
age group hadn.t seen her for a while..."
Violetta Anna Licari reads Mrs. Steeves
"I was in my mid-60s. I'd summered on the island all my life. I met
my husband, Henry, on the island when I was a girl. We were a
childless couple, and kept very much to ourselves. Henry had
passed away, unexpectedly. I found myself reaching out to the
community around me and making new friends...
Patricia Murtha Narrator
Jack surveyed a space that had no discernible walls, just fading blackness.
He sat on a hassock of mist.
Above him, was the sky and the trees, partially obscured by his
lightning-scored body, still smoking in the pouring rain.
Kathryn Marie Loggins reads Laurie
"My name is Laurie Johnson. I was a volunteer with the island fire
department. I was called to the Smith house the night it burned
down. The fire was caused by gas from the neighbor's grill. The
gas was on, but the grill wasn't lit. The two cottages were close
together. Propane accumulated in the crawl-space...
Michael Colasurdo reads John Smith
"My brother Mark and I sat on the beach with Rob, one of the
dock hands for the ferry and some of his friends. The whole
world smelled like gunpowder. The main fireworks display was
over, but there were plenty of others going off all around us. We
could see tons of fireworks over on the Connecticut side too.
There were groups of older kids on the beach. Some of them
were a little wild and scary. Most of them weren't from here."
Joseph Cappelli reads Larry Puljcisz
"I'm an undertaker. I spent summers on the island, growing up.
Jack was one of my friends. I always envied him; he was
good-looking; he was successful. I got dealt a long beak and a
bald patch that struck me in my early twenties. He got the girls. I
do okay too, but I get dead girls mostly. Undertaker humor."