Monterey Bay

Lindsay Hatton. Penguin Press, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-1-59420-678-8
Fans of John Steinbeck and his Cannery Row stories will delight in this novel, which takes place in Monterey, Calif., in 1940. While looking at the sea life in a tide pool, 15-year-old Margot Fiske falls and hits her head. She is rescued by marine biologist Ed Ricketts, who sews up the cut in her forehead, and shortly thereafter they begin having an affair. Margot moved to Monterey with her entrepreneur father, Anders Fiske, who takes over one of the canneries on the row, but runs it his own way, much to the chagrin of Giana Agnelli, head of the most powerful family on the peninsula. Margot gets a job sketching Ricketts’s marine subjects and makes money on the side drawing pornographic images that are then sold by Giana’s son, Tino. Margot gets to know Steinbeck, Ricketts’s benefactor, who is hiding out from Hollywood and his wife, Carol. But for these characters, America’s entry into World War II and the publication of Cannery Row will change life in Monterey forever. Hatton, in her fist novel, takes up a formidable challenge for herself, setting her story in one of American literature’s most famous locations. She does an excellent job of recreating the Cannery Row that no longer exists, honoring the memory of Steinbeck and Ricketts (the real-life inspiration for Cannery Row’s Doc) and all the workers who once toiled there, as seen through the eyes of a precocious teenage heroine. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/16/2016
Release date: 07/19/2016
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-14-311048-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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