I wasn’t sure I’d like these novels, given that they are set in 19th century Bangor and focused on lots of family problems and challenges, but from the very first page of Pink Chimneys, I was hooked. And after finishing that book, I moved quickly to Hamlin’s follow-up novel, Abbott’s Reach.
My thanks to Islandport Press in Yarmouth for republishing these novels in paperback, making them easily accessible for all of us.
Ardeana grew up in Bingham in the 1950s and 1960s, when logs were still driven down our rivers. And river drivers are included in her first novel, set in Bangor, where the main character, Fanny, has a baby out of wedlock after being abandoned by the guy she expected to marry, and began working in a brothel, the infamous house with the pink chimneys. There’s a lot more to that story but I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Ardeana wrote for many years for the Bangor Daily News, is the author of three previous novels, and now lives in Hampden. I can only hope she’s working on a follow-up novel to Abbott’s Reach.
That sequel to Pink Chimneys is an equally compelling story of Fanny’s life after Pink Chimney’s, daughter Elizabeth that Fanny abandoned, and Elizabeth’s daughter “M”. These families spend a lot of time at sea, and after marrying, M and her husband sail all the way to Hawaii, where they have a truly amazing experience.
When you pick up either of these novels, make sure you have enough time because you won’t want to stop reading!