cover image Leaving Rock Harbor

Leaving Rock Harbor

Rebecca Chace, Scribner, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4391-4130-4

The fate of a young woman mirrors the fortunes of the town where she lives in Chace's deft third novel (after Capture the Flag). Shortly before the United States enters WWI, 15-year-old Frankie Ross and her parents move from Poughkeepsie to the booming mill town of Rock Harbor, Mass., where Frankie's father hopes for a fresh start, and Frankie is drawn into intense relationships with two young men: Joe Barros, a mill worker and part of the town's sizable Portuguese community; and Joe's best friend, Winslow Curtis, the son of a state senator. As the three mature and world events intensify, Frankie's young adulthood is spent torn between privilege and passion, and as the love triangle develops, Frankie, her family, and her lovers live through world war, influenza, and, eventually, an economic depression. Chace writes evocatively of early 20th-century mill town life, and even if the interjections by an adult Frankie looking back seem heavy-handed, the grounding of Frankie's romances in historical events is adeptly handled, giving this coming-ofage story some serious weight. (June)