Osprey Island

By Thisbe Nissen
Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780385720625, 279pp.

Publication Date: June 14, 2005

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As summer begins on Osprey Island, preparations at the Lodge -- the island’s one and only hotel — are underway for the busy season. On maintenance and housekeeping there’s Lance and Lorna Squire, Osprey locals and raging drinkers; and their irrepressible son Squee. There are college boys to wait tables and Irish girls to clean rooms. And a few unusual returnees, too: Suzy Chizek, single mom and daughter of the Lodge’s owners, who’s looking for a parentally funded vacation; and Roddy Jacobs, another former local, who has come back after a mysterious twenty-year absence. But when tragedy strikes, dark secrets explode, dividing the island community over the fate of a young boy suddenly more vulnerable to his violent father than ever. In the uniquely ephemeral atmosphere of a summer resort, Thisbe Nissen unfolds, with charecteristic warmth and charm, an ever-deepening story of lost loves and found romance, of loyalties and betrayals; and of lingering–sometimes fleeting–joy.

About the Author
Erin Ergenbright and Thisbe Nissen met at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where they spent many nights discussing gastronomic creations gained from ex-boyfriends and moved with their four cats into a farmhouse outside Iowa City where it was very cold in the winter. They ate frozen bagels, drank red wine, reminisced about their ex-boyfriends' culinary delights, and kept their fingers warm by collaging. Erin, Lucy, and Sinclair now live in Oregon. Thisbe, Fernanda, and Maisie remain in Iowa. Both Erin and Thisbe hope one day they will meet men they love as much as their cats, but they are not holding their breath.

Praise For Osprey Island

"There's a tragedy, a love story, and most memorably, an utterly transporting sense of place woven into Osprey Island. Pick it up, and feel like you've taken a holiday from the ordinary." --Elle

"Finally, a perfect beach book with a literary bent. . . . The story unfolds slowly, letting the reader take in Nissen's carefully crafted prose, but gains momentum at the end, when everything comes undone."--New York Post

"Nissen is particularly good at describing painful obsessive passion. . . . She is a sincere and talented writer."--Newsday

"Nissen's feel for character, for the inarticulate layers beneath the surface, assist her in bringing to life some truly memorable souls."–The Miami Herald

“Much like the great Joyce Carol Oates, Thisbe Nissen creates an exclusive world peopled with both the young and the old…Nissen’s writing is calm and poetic.” —Baltimore City Paper

“Well-crafted…secrets abound in a place where family bonds often go beyond blood relations.” —The Chicago Tribune

"Finally, a perfect beach book with a literary bent. . . . The story unfolds slowly, letting the reader take in Nissen's carefully crafted prose, but gains momentum at the end, when everything comes undone."-New York Post

“Incendiary tension, fueled by grief, alcoholism, and island insularity, build to levels so intolerable that one has to fight the urge to read with one eye closed even while tearing through the pages toward the shocking conclusion. Nissen is the kind of writer who sends the reader compulsively in search of everything else she has written.”–Library Journal

“Much like her plain-spoken characters, Nissen is a supremely unfussy voice, arriving at surprising places via deceptively simple routes…as a poignant summer reverie, Osprey Island should no doubt satisfy readers who can’t get away to the beach themselves.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"A perfect summer read."--Weekly Dig (Boston)

“Nissen is out to accomplish more than just telling a good yarn. She shows the damage secrets can cause and how years of silence can gather like a tsunami and wash away lives…Engrossing.”--Tacoma News-Tribune

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