Cape Cod

William Martin, Author Warner Books Inc $36 (652p) ISBN 978-0-446-51510-8
In a sweeping historical saga packed with history and incident, Martin ( Back Bay ) follows two intertwined yet bitterly antagonistic families from their Pilgrim origins to the present day. On board the Mayflower, sanctimonious church elder Ezra Bigelow and whaler Jack Hilyard, who defies the Pilgrims' rules of piety and obedience, take an immediate and intense dislike to each other. An observant mariner on board ship keeps a detailed log and chronicles a shocking incident that would bring shame and dishonor upon the Bigelow family if it were made known. The log is lost, but its trail gleams like a golden thread through the narrative, and, as the ever-wealthier Bigelows and the rakish Hilyards clash bitterly over the years (particularly over a prime piece of Cape Cod shoreline called Jack's Island that is continually changing hands), the log emerges briefly now and then to inspire blackmail and unease. After Martin's less than reverent look at our Pilgrim forefathers, he packs the narrative with abundant adultery, several massacres, pirateering, slave-trading and rum-running. In the current generation, Geoff Hilyard is trying to save his part of Jack's Island from avaricious Bigelow developers. To stave off financial ruin, he is searching for the elusive Mayflower log, now an enormously valuable historical document. Martin gives Michener a run for his money with this rousing tale. 75,000 first printing; $120,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates; author tour. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-55800-399-6
Paperback - 864 pages - 978-0-446-69260-1
Open Ebook - 444 pages - 978-1-4555-8057-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 736 pages - 978-0-446-36317-4
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