Ellen Block. The Language of Sand. New York: Bantam Books Trade Paperbacks, 2010.

After losing her husband and young son in a devastating house fire, Abigail Harker’s life changes forever.  Everything precious to her has been taken away, and she finds that without her family she cannot resume her life in Boston as a lexicographer.  Abigail’s husband spoke fondly of a small island in North Carolina – Chapel Isle – that he visited when he was a boy, and she decides to move there for a year to feel closer to his spirit.

After making the long drive from Massachusetts to North Carolina, Abigail’s first tour of Chapel Isle is daunting.  The ferry lands at a dock that is eerily unstable, and the property that she rents – a cottage and a lighthouse – is in abysmal condition.  Getting to know the locals is also difficult because most people, although curious about her, appear to be standoffish.  And there is the ghost that “looks after” (or haunts) the lighthouse and whose noises unsettle her daily.

Abigail must make a new life for herself on Chapel Isle while grieving the premature loss of her old life.  Although this is an unbelievably difficult task, over time she gains loyal friends and interesting memories on the island – and new strength.  Abigail, always inspired by words, uses her experiences on Chapel Isle to create a new vocabulary that redefines her life and allows her to survive.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Block, Ellen, Coast, Novels Set in Fictional Places

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