“On Harbor’s Edge” gets off to a riveting start as newlyweds Mildred May and Thaddeus Gale set off from Crescent in a peapod for Popplestone Isle 11 miles farther out. A storm’s coming, but they’re swept along by the tide and make good time. Alighting in her delicate, seaweed-stained wedding dress and sea boots, the island girl is carried across the threshold of her new island home. But the Gales’ honeymoon abrupted is interrupted by an unexpected herring run and moonlight race to trap the blue-backed fish in a weir.
Set in 1912, North Haven writer Kate Hotchkiss’s first novel “On Harbor’s Edge: Book One 1912-1913” (2020, Maine Authors Publishing, Thomaston, $18.95) is one in a series leading to the present. The opening chapter rings true in its portrayal of coastal Maine life in the early 20th century and required a lot of research to get right the sein nets and other details. The fast-paced storyline, though, is what hooks this reader who is eager to learn what happens next. The novel was edited by “Landslide” author Susan Conley.
Before making Maine her permanent home, Hotchkiss lived in Hong Kong and Beijing, working in finance as well as on projects for government agencies and the United Nations.
Hotchkiss will speak about “On Harbor’s Edge: Book One 1912-1913” (2020, Maine Authors Publishing, Thomaston, $18.95) at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 13, via Zoom, through the Ellsworth Public Library. To register ahead for the talk, go to ellsworth.lib.me.us. She also will do a virtual presentation on June 28 at the Stonington Public Library. To learn more about the author, visit katehotchkiss.com.