Still Water Bending, a Novel by Wendy Mitman Clarke
Chesapeake Bay Magazine readers know Clarke through her award-winning features in these pages. We are the ideal audience to test the veracity of this new work, and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. Her depictions of life around the Bay, in the boatyards and on the water, are dynamic and true, reflecting her deep experience on the Chesapeake and in our maritime communities. Clarke has thousands of Chesapeake and Atlantic miles in her wake, and she is literally married to the business and culture of boats and boatyards. It shows in her writing.
The story follows Jines Arley Evans, a third-generation waterman struggling to determine how his life might end as the commercial fishing tradition fades and the pressure of land speculation rises. Meanwhile, his daughter Lily Rae has fled the region to chart a journalism career far from the Bay’s brackish marshes. Lily Rae reluctantly returns home to tend to her struggling father, and they grapple with reconstructing their relationship while building a traditional deadrise skiff.
Clarke introduces us to characters we feel like we might know from any time spent along the Chesapeake and Maine shores. The mix provides the texture and reality of a compelling tale of love, loss and redemption.
This is a courageous piece of work worth reading.
Wendy will join us in our booth at the U.S. Sailboat and Powerboat shows in Annapolis, Oct. 5–9 and Oct. 12–15. Copies of the book will be for sale.