The Invisible Husband of Frick Island

Berkley. May 2021. 368p. ISBN 9781984806482. pap. $17. F
Budding journalist Anders Caldwell fancies himself a modern-day Clark Kent. He works for a small-town paper, but he’s sure that his big break is just around the corner. He’s disappointed that his new assignment is to report on a cake walk on Frick Island—a 1.2-mile strip of land 12 miles out in the Chesapeake Bay—and shocked that the island doesn’t do internet, cell phones, cars, or change. And then there’s Piper Parrish, the young wife of a local crab fisher, who talks to someone who’s not there. Anders learns that Piper’s husband disappeared at sea, but she insists he’s still alive and present. The entire population of Frick Island entertains her fantasy. Anders soon realizes the story of Piper and her delusions would make a riveting podcast—perhaps called What the Frick?—but he must deceive the islanders to get the facts. As he grows to love the island and its residents, Anders discovers that he’s not the only one with a private agenda: Piper and the town have their own secrets.
VERDICT Fans of the delightfully bizarre and quaintly humorous will love Oakley’s (You Were There Too) hopeful tale about the powerful bond of community and how far people will go to protect someone they love.
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