After five years of spending a few hours each day with the main characters of this novel, Eva and Henry, A Cape Cod Marriage, I miss them as daily companions. True, I am able to thumb through the pages of the book to visit these dear friends, but how I enjoyed imagining the ways they once talked to each other, treated each other, and experienced daily life back in the South Wellfleet of the 1880′s- the decade of their marriage.
As the Civil War in the United States was ending, a little girl was born near the shores of Blackfish Harbor. Her name was Eva Weston Paine, and she was the first child of a sea captain who himself was from a very large family. She would be one of only two children, her younger brother was born a year after she was. His name was Lewis, and he was to become my great grandfather. Just a short distance away from Eva’s home, there lived a young boy, Henry Smith, who was a distant cousin and an only child. He gallantly acted as Eva’s protector when she walked to the Pond Hill School as a little girl, and when they grew up and had other choices before them, they married and lived in their coastal village of origin.
I was born 89 years after she was, and Eva had already passed away. But I heard stories about her from my father, who had lived with her when he was a little boy and Eva was his revered grandaunt. When I was young, our family lived in Eva’s antique house in the summer. My siblings and I stared at the photographs we found in old trunks in the attic- faces that looked so similar to our own. So it was then, when I was a little girl, that I began to imagine what the daily life of my great grandaunt had been like. I walked where Eva had walked and I slept in the bedroom where she had been born.
I took the plunge into historical research when I turned fifty, and found that the stories that had been passed down to me were cushioned for young ears. Even my father’s generation did not know the whole truth of the events of so long ago. Eva’s experience was extraordinary and mundane, domestic and fantastic. Some of the missing pieces of the story came together in the last months before publication, and even now, new material and facts come my way. I will continue to welcome news and information of that long ago Wellfleet, and publish them here.
WHERE TO BUY:
Locally, the novel is now available at the Wellfleet Marketplace on Main Street across from Town Hall and at the Booksmith/Musicsmith in Orleans. Wherever you are, your favorite bookstore can order the book through IngramSpark using ISBN 978-0-9669240-5-3.
If you are an internet shopper and do not have a local bookstore to support, you will find the book on Amazon.com. The third edition has just been published in 2019 by Fiddler Books.