The Right-Hand Shore

A Novel by Scott Sowers

  • Published: Aug 03, 2020

A masterful novel that confronts the dilemmas of race, family, and forbidden love in the wake of America's Civil War Fifteen years after the publication of his acclaimed novel Mason's Retreat, Christopher Tilghman returns to the Mason family and... read more

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Details of The Right-Hand Shore

Exact title of the book
The Right-Hand Shore
Book author
Scott Sowers
ISBN
9781427227324
Publisher
Macmillan Audio
Published
Apr 24, 2012
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
File size (in PDF)
about 1200 kB

Some brief overview of book

A masterful novel that confronts the dilemmas of race, family, and forbidden love in the wake of America's Civil War Fifteen years after the publication of his acclaimed novel Mason's Retreat, Christopher Tilghman returns to the Mason family and the Chesapeake Bay in The Right-Hand Shore. It is 1920, and Edward Mason is making a call upon Miss Mary Bayly, the current owner of the legendary Mason family estate, the Retreat. Miss Mary is dying.

She plans to give the Retreat to the closest direct descendant of the original immigrant owner that she can find. Edward believes he can charm the old lady, secure the estate and be back in Baltimore by lunchtime. Instead, over the course of a long day, he hears the stories that will forever bind him and his family to the land.

He hears of Miss Mary's grandfather brutally selling all his slaves in 1857 in order to avoid the reprisals he believes will come with Emancipation. He hears of the doomed efforts by Wyatt Bayly, Miss Mary's father, to turn the Retreat into a vast peach orchard, and of Miss Mary and her brother growing up in a fractured and warring household. He learns of Abel Terrell, son of free blacks who becomes head orchardist, and whose family becomes intimately connected to the Baylys and to the Mason legacy.

The drama in this richly textured novel proceeds through vivid set pieces on rural nineteenth-century industry; on a boyhood on the Eastern Shore of Maryland; on the unbreakable divisions of race and class; and, finally, on two families attempting to save a son and a daughter from the dangers of their own innocent love. The result is a radiant work of deep insight and peerless imagination about the central dilemma of American history. The Right-Hand Shore is a New York Times Notable Book of 2012.

About author

Tilghman is the author of two short-story collections, In a Father's Place and The Way People Run, and two novels, Mason's Retreat and Roads of the Heart. Currently the director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Virginia, he and his wife, the writer Caroline Preston, live in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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