Red Eagle Island (Kenneth Payson Kempton, 1925)

A 16 year old boy lives with his cold and repressive stepfather in a small Maine town. He watches the fishing ships in the harbor and dreams of a day when he might be aboard one. He makes an off-hand comment regarding nearby Red Eagle Island one evening and, to his confusion, finds himself thrown out of the house. As the story unfolds, the boy discovers a great deal about his stepfather he didn’t previously know — namely, that he seems to be embroiled in a plot to cheat at a high-stakes fishing boat race in Nova Scotia by substituting the boat that’s been entered into it with an identical looking yacht secretly being built on Red Eagle.

I tend to pick-up books at random and generally have not the slightest idea what they’re about before reading them, and there’s always a weird joy when I find one that starts to describe a familiar landscape, then mentions the name of a town I know, and then… yay, it’s Maine, I’m from there! It’s probably the same with anyone from places not brought up that frequently.


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