Since the protagonist of House at Lobster Cove fit every definition of an "improper Bostonian" I am delighted that both he and the novel have received such a nice review. Even better that the review was penned by the singular Mopsy Strange Kennedy. Read the review »
• Recommended by Brookline Booksmith and Porter Square Books!
Boston Globe, June 29, 2017 »
I am delighted to find my novel reviewed in the always fascinating blog pages of Fine Books & Collections Magazine, by Barbara Basbanes Richter.
“My book really isn’t about my building of the house in any way. It’s all about Mr. Black and his fascinating life as a whole,’’ she said. “People in Boston should know him. He was a fabulous philanthropist to the city. The things that he did for the city are just huge, huge things.’’
Why is so little known about one of Boston’s most ardent philanthropists, the man who was the city’s biggest taxpayer in 1890?
“He was modest and quiet and didn’t put stipulations on the gifts he gave to places, and that’s why no one knows a thing about him,’’ Goodrich said. “He was just under the radar, partly for his sake, and partly because he didn’t care. He didn’t want all that stuff. He seemed to be just a great human being, a great role model in many ways.’’
Watch my lecture given at the book launch party in Manchester Historical Museum, May 9 2017:
Nixon was a wealthy man who spent his adult life in Boston, and it was there Goodrich went to find his will and see how he had divided his fortune when he died at the age of 86 in 1928. She believed seeing who he left his money to would prove helpful, and it turned out she was right.
Nixon’s will “pointed me to everything I later found out about him,” Goodrich wrote, and she said the document contained “not only a man’s voice but an amazing story.”
“...immediately we know we are in the hands of an accomplished storyteller...”
—Jeanne Schinto, Maine Antiques Digest, April 2017
• Read full review here [PDF] »
“It's hard to believe this novel was written in the twenty-first century: it has the grace, wit, language and incisive character exploration of Edith Wharton's work. It's a joy to read.”
—Bas Bleu Booksellers—2018 Book a Month selection
“A beautiful fictional portrait....inspires with a gentle reverence for thoughtful decency and pure human goodness. Highly Recommended.”
—Kathi Kirby, Powell's Books, Portland, Oregon
“What a marvel of a book, one to be savored.”
—Three Lives & Co. Bookstore, New York, New York
“...a family saga, a love story, and a history of nineteenth-century Boston, all rolled into a truly engaging whole.”
—Paula M. Bodah, New England Home Magazine, May/June 2017
“Jane Goodrich has built two fine houses in her life. The first was the remarkable resurrection of Kragsyde, the legendary and lost Shingle Style masterpiece. And here we have the second, The House at Lobster Cove, Goodrich's richly imagined life of the man who had Kragsyde built, George Nixon Black. Her novel is as capacious, assured, and surprising as Kragsyde.”
—Howard Mansfield, author of Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter
“From the novel's riveting first chapter to its final page, Goodrich recreates the life and times of George Nixon Black with a mixture of meticulous historical research and inspired leaps of imagination. The finely drawn characters and the vividly envisioned settings in which they lived encourage the reader to enter into their world and makes this first novel a thoroughly accomplished work of fiction.”
—Gertrude de G. Wilmers, author of Frederic Crowninshield. A Renaissance Man in the Gilded Age
“What I read in this novel is the description of a real person, a man I would have loved to be acquainted with. Knowing George Nixon Black would certainly have enriched my life experience, and one is left with the feeling that he has passed on to us a lens through which we can tolerate the world in our own time. To eavesdrop on the lessons of his life through this novel is such a gift.”
—Steve Fletcher, Dandelion, San Francisco
“Jane Goodrich's love affair with Kragsyde—a summer house hailed as a masterpiece of the Shingle Style—has culminated in a remarkable debut novel that persuasively melds fact and fiction. Drawing on her years of research, Goodrich lifts George Nixon Black—the enigmatic owner of Kragsyde—from the shadows of history, chronicling his childhood in rural Maine, his youthful adventures on the Grand Tour, and his constrained, frustrating life as the only son of one of the wealthiest men in Boston. The House at Lobster Cove stirs and fascinates, with evocative descriptions of the Civil War, Gilded Age architecture and society, and an enduring romance with a cousin of the last Queen of Hawaii.”
—Bret Morgan, author of Shingle Style: Houses by the Sea