Summer Reads

Looking for a beach read to finish out the summer? Look no further than these Island-made new arrivals.

Beyond This Harbor: Adventurous Tales of the Heart 

by Rose Styron

(Alfred A. Knopf, 2023)

To say Rose Styron has led an adventurous life surrounded by interesting people is an understatement. The ninety-five-year-old poet, author, and human rights advocate first put down roots on the Island more than fifty years ago with her late husband, the author William Styron, and has lived in their Vineyard Haven home full-time since 2013. Along the way she forged friendships with the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lillian Hellman, Arthur Miller, James Baldwin, Gerry Adams, and many more. But although her memoir, Beyond This Harbor, is star-studded, and the details of her human rights work in Pinochet’s Chile, Apartheid South Africa, and elsewhere is notable, the book is a personal story above all else, delving deeply into marriage, family, and grief.



by Richard North Patterson

(Post Hill Press, 2023)

Vineyard seasonal resident Richard North Patterson knows how to pump out the thrillers and bestsellers – more than a dozen of his novels have appeared on the The New York Times and international lists, and several have been adapted for television. Now, he returns with his first new work in nine years, drawing on his prior career as a trial attorney to lead readers through the twists and turns of the legal system. Trial follows the story of Malcolm Hill, an eighteen-year-old Black voting rights worker from Georgia who is stopped by a white sheriff’s deputy and wrongly arrested for murder. Following his arrest, Hill becomes the subject of a national media frenzy and is caught in the eye of a hurricane of racial tension in the land. It’s a gripping and thrilling saga, as intended, and depicts strife and incendiary flashpoints that are sadly all too familiar


Vineyard Folk: Creative People and Places of Martha’s Vineyard

by Tamara Weiss and Amanda Benchley
(Abrams Books, 2023)

The Vineyard has long been host to musicians, artists, and artisans lured ashore by a sense of free-spiritedness and independence. As the price of housing skyrockets on the Island, new generations of creative types are finding it increasingly hard to sustain or gain a foothold. Vineyard Folk pays homage to what is, what was, and what stands to be lost in the forward march of time. Co-authors Tamara Weiss and Amanda Benchley feature a wide swath of individuals who give the Vineyard its Island funk, from music legend Kate Taylor to actress Amy Brenneman. Fitting for a coffee table–sized book focused on beautiful spaces, it’s all arrestingly photographed by Elizabeth Cecil. Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Carly Simon pens an introduction.


Martha’s Vineyard in the Roaring Twenties: Radicals & Rascals 

by Thomas Dresser
(The History Press, 2023)

True to the nickname, the Roaring Twenties were a thrilling, sometimes tumultuous, time for many. Those on the Vineyard were no exception. World War I had just ended, but Spanish flu, a worldwide pandemic, reached Island shores. Women voted in their first election. Fishermen were recruited to run rum from offshore supply ships. Luminaries from the Harlem Renaissance settled in. The decade also saw a new wave of summer tourism in Oak Bluffs, which helped shape the vacation town we recognize today. In this, his fifteenth book, Vineyard-based history writer Thomas Dresser recounts the names and events that earned a spot in history and captured  Islanders’ attention.