Eva & Henry

June 11, 2011 Wellfleet Harborfest Reading

The Pond Hill School, South Wellfleet

Press Release

Author Irene Paine to read from her award-winning novel at Wellfleet Harborfest

Wellfleet, MA:  On the W.H.A.T. Waterfront Stage, at 1:00 PM on June 11 at the first annual Wellfleet Harborfest, Irene Paine will read from her award-winning historical novel Eva and Henry, A Cape Cod Marriage and narrate a slide-show of rare vintage photographs of Wellfleet people and places from the late 1800’s. Proceeds from books sold will go to the Pond Hill School preservation fund.

Paine’s debut novel was awarded the 2011 Silver “IPPY” (Independent Publisher’s) Award for best regional fiction of the North-east. The novel was one of many considered from all types of independent presses, including university presses. Paine resurrects an entire Wellfleet neighborhood of actual people who lived more than one hundred years ago, and deftly describes the intricate and complicated social world as experienced by a young sea captain’s wife whose challenges include submerging her take-charge personality when her husband is home from the sea and transitioning into the modern Machine Age from the world of horse and buggy, wind and sail. No detail of domestic life has been omitted; the reader is allowed access to such private places as the marriage bedroom, the Saturday night bath, and the backyard privy. The dangerous moods of the Atlantic Ocean overshadow the daily rhythms of nineteenth century coastal village life and cause Eva to develop strength and courage, allowing her to persevere through tragic circumstances.

Reader reviews have been very positive. One reader reports on Amazon.com, “These vivid characters from a small town on Cape Cod were so engaging they became my neighbors as I read about there daily lives. If you like strong women characters, adventure, fishing village stories, family history, and the history of a time and region, you will love this book as I did.”

The South Wellfleet setting is as essential to the novel as the characters are. The Pond Hill School (circa 1857) was a central meeting place for village life, first as a school house for Paine Hollow and the surrounding area, and then as a meeting hall, which it continues to be today. This last remaining school house of the original dozen that were once in use in the town of Wellfleet is now in need of preservation.  All proceeds from the novel sold at this event will go towards the preservation fund, and admission donations will be thankfully accepted.   Learn about the Pond Hill School at: www.SWNAsu.org.

Photo credit:  Barbara Kirk Cole

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