ED and JO by Wayne Soini. ALL PROCEEDS FROM THIS BOOK GO TO FUND ACTIVITIES OF THE GLOUCESTER400 COMMITTEE
This novel reminds readers of the creator of the “Man at the Wheel,” sculptor Leonard Craske; stock market wizard Roger Babson; Lanesville’s baseball-loving Fred Foster of Foster Brothers’ Drug Store; Floyd the Clammer; Henry Gould, the one-legged lifeguard of Half Moon beach; heroic Howard Blackburn; Jacobson’s seaside family sauna and, from way back, Gloucester’s unlucky sea serpent eyewitness and chronicler, Lonson Nash. As Gloucester’s Tricentennial celebration (1623-1923) unfolds, enter two artists, Ed Hopper and Jo Nivison.
See Jo’s cat run. After Ed finds and returns Jo’s beloved Arthur, she gratefully loans him her watercolors. When Ed promptly captures a vision of Gloucester for all time, he also comes to see his fellow artiste through new eyes. The “odd couple” attend a silent movie at the North Shore Theater, party at Leon Kroll’s on Rocky Neck, sketch at Good Harbor beach, explore Lane’s Cove, and drink Twin Lights ginger ale, made in Rockport.
By the time of the climactic Tricentennial pageant at Stage Fort Park, a question hovers over the lovers: what next? Sketching and painting in Cape Ann’s legendary light by day, spooning under its starry skies when they aren’t fighting, Ed and Jo waver between commitment and separation in a narrative presented in a novel here for the first time ever anywhere.
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