The Invisible Husband of Frick Island

Colleen Oakley. Berkley, $17 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-984806-48-2
In the quirky latest from Oakley (You Were There Too), an outsider learns of strange happenings on a remote Maryland island. After Tom Parrish is presumed dead in a boating accident, his wife, Piper, stays on the three-mile strip of Frick Island, still walking the docks with an imagined version of Tom to chat with the other boatmen and eat dinner at the One-Eyed Crab. Journalist Anders Caldwell arrives to do a fluff piece on the annual Cake Walk celebration, and afterward receives an email from an anonymous source saying he’s missed the bigger story. He returns, assuming the tip was about climate change, only to learn how the other islanders play along with Piper’s “PBHEs” (post-bereavement hallucination experiences). He then secretly dedicates his flailing podcast to Piper’s “invisible husband” and her neighbors’ role in the charade. As the podcast begins to catch on, Anders races against the building of a new cell tower, which would bring data service to the island along with news of the now successful podcast, which is actually about them. Granted, much of the plot relies on coincidences and silly misunderstandings, but Oakley cultivates a genuine sense of hope and the outlandish things people do to support the ones they love. There’s little of consequence here, but it works as a light diversion. Agent: Stephanie Rostan, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/12/2021
Release date: 05/25/2021
Genre: Fiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9848-0649-9
Paperback - 978-1-4328-8749-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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