Marrow Island (Paperback)

Staff Pick Logo
Marrow Island Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
1 on hand, as of Apr 24 9:45am

Staff Reviews

From Portland writer Alex Smith, author of Glaciers, comes her second novel, Marrow Island. The narrator's father died during an environmental disaster on the titular Pacific Northwest island. After years in Seattle working as a journalist, Lucie returns to her childhood home. We know at the outset that her estranged best friend, Kate, is involved in a cult that has tried to kill Lucie, and the novel unravels backward and forward through time from there. This is a beautiful, haunting, and probing story of family, place, friendship, love, sex, faith, ecology, and mushrooms.

— Michael

June 2016 Indie Next List

“After an earthquake destroyed the oil refinery on Marrow Island and killed her father, Lucie Bowen left. Twenty years later, she returns to the Puget Sound and discovers her friend Kate is now living on this toxic island with members of 'The Colony.' Set in the Pacific Northwest, Marrow Island is a mystery/thriller that encompasses communal living, natural and man-made disasters, and what can happen when we tinker with the ecosystem and try to play a larger role.”
— Tracy Taylor (W), The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA


"Eerie and intriguing . . . captivates in the first few pages and delivers a gripping, compelling story throughout."--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Smith's excellent command of language gives life to arresting characters and their creepy surroundings, keeping the suspense in this dark environmental thriller running high."

It has been twenty years since Lucie Bowen left the islands--when the May Day Quake shattered thousands of lives; when Lucie's father disappeared in an explosion at the Marrow Island oil refinery, a tragedy that destroyed the island's ecosystem; and when Lucie and her best friend, Katie, were just Puget Sound children hoping to survive.
Now, Katie writes with strange and miraculous news. Marrow Island is no longer uninhabitable and no longer abandoned. She is part of a community that has managed to conjure life again from Marrow's soil. Lucie returns. Her journalist instincts tell her there's more to this mysterious "Colony" and their charismatic leader--a former nun with an all-consuming plan--than its members want her to know. As she uncovers their secrets, will Lucie endanger more than their mission? And what price will she pay for the truth?

"Transporting."--Vanity Fair

"Beautifully wrought."
--O, The Oprah Magazine

"Engrossing and atmospheric, a thorny meditation on environmental responsibility with a big haunted heart."--Laura van den Berg, Miami Herald

About the Author

ALEXIS M. SMITH was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She attended Mount Holyoke College, Portland State University, and Goddard College. Her debut novel, Glaciers, was a finalist for the Ken Kesey Award and a selection for World Book Night 2013. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her son.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781328710345
ISBN-10: 1328710343
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Pages: 272
Language: English