Fleeing New York City and an abusive partner, would-be writer Marc Nugent finds work at HomePort, the Provincetown mansion of Lola Staunton, a fabulously wealthy recluse. Aided by an attractive-but-unattainable artist and an all-too-available cross-dresser, Marc investigates accusations of rape and murder that have estranged Lola from a childhood friend for more than sixty years. Past and present converge when a long-lost journal reveals tales of infidelity, adultery, and passion that mirror the life Marc has recently abandoned. When his ex-lover arrives in search of revenge, Marc must confront his past, his notions of family, and his capacity for love.
Diane on GGR Review wrote:
“Burch’s exquisite descriptions of Provincetown bring the cape to life, and the more he reveals about the delightfully crotchety Dorrie and Lola and the effervescent, tragic Helena, the more captivating they become.”
The Homeport Journals is at once a romance, a mystery and a coming-of-age tale that touches on so many facets of the human experience that I was, quite simply, blown away. Marc and Cole are young men trapped inside their own insecurities and fears. Alone they face their inner turmoils with denial or soul-numbing acquiescence; together they discover that friendship and love are but two of the many ways to reach out and embrace a larger world of acceptance and understanding.
Helena is the delightful, outrageous, captivating cross-dresser whose flashes of dual identities present a sometimes terrifying glimpse into what it’s like to wear one skin over two personalities. She is gloriously over-the-top, heart-wrenchingly vulnerable, and prone to the kind of drama that makes for some of the most memorable moments in this story.
The Homeport Journals is also, at its core, a lesson in how the past insinuates the present, when those who went before were faced with choices that altered forever their place in history. As Marc, Cole and Helena conspire to piece together past events in order to understand a reality turned rigid and uncompromising, they uncover a tale of betrayal, abuse and infidelity buried in memory.
This is a literary work of exceptional merit. It is epic in nature, yet intensely intimate in execution, gorgeously rendered in exquisite detail, and told with heart-felt honesty. It bears a message of hope and love, compassion and tolerance, of simple joys and overcoming the roadblocks life sometimes thrusts in your path.
I loved The Homeport Journals, unreservedly, and give it my highest recommendation.