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An unforgettable coming-of-age story and a luminous portrayal of a dramatic era of American history, Rebecca Chace’s Leaving Rock Harbor takes readers into the heart of a New England mill town in the early twentieth century.
On the eve of World War I, fourteen-year-old Frankie Ross and her parents leave their simple life in Poughkeepsie to seek a new beginning in the booming city of Rock Harbor, Massachusetts. Frankie’s father finds work in a bustling cotton mill, but erupting labor strikes threaten to dismantle the town’s socioeconomic structure. Frankie soon befriends two charismatic young men—Winslow Curtis, privileged son of the town’s most powerful politician, and Joe Barros, a Portuguese mill worker who becomes a union organizer—forming a tender yet bittersweet love triangle that will have an impact on all three throughout their lives.
Inspired in part by Chace’s family history, Frankie’s journey to adulthood takes us through the First World War and into the Jazz Age, followed by the Great Depression—from rags to riches and back again. Her life parallels the evolution of the mill town itself, and the lost promise of a boomtown that everyone thought would last forever.
Of her acclaimed novel Capture the Flag, the Los Angeles Times said, "Chace’s writing resembles a generation of New York writers heavily influenced by John Updike: Rick Moody, A. M. Homes, Susan Minot, and, more recently, Melissa Bank." With its lyrical prose and compelling style, Leaving Rock Harbor further establishes Chace’s position in that literary tradition.
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