Reviews & Testimonials

Rich in character, incident and mouthwatering food.
A triumphant fictional debut.

William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Cape Cod and City of Dreams


Much more than a promising first novel by a formidably talented writer; it is a literary achievement of the first order-a heartfelt, redemptive, and irresistible novel. Raichlen handles this complex tale of romance, family, illness, and dark secrets with intelligence, grace, and abiding tenderness.

John Dufresne, author of Requiem, Mass


A quirky, surprising, and poignant romance, with a wonderful voice all its own. Readers beware: the food in this novel will leave you ravenous.

Barbara D'Amato, Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Other Eyes


Steven Raichlen has written a magical novel about a magical place. He deftly captures the subtleties, oddities, and beguiling charm of Martha's Vineyard and Chappaquiddick. Take this literary ferry. You'll enjoy your stay.

Lucia St. Clair Robson, New York Times best-selling author of Last Train from Cuernavaca, winner of the Spur Award


Steven Raichlen presents a kaleidoscope of personalities with insight and compassion, while reminding us that good food, prepared with love, may not heal all wounds, but it can't hurt and it often helps. A splendid beach read!

Mary Doria Russell, Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of Thread of Grace and Doc


There is almost a lyrical style in the brief descriptions of food and its preparation. It becomes a historian's gourmand feast, written with a dignity and the wondrousness of the human spirit. This truly is a book not to be missed, not just as a summer read, but as a message of existence and the healing power of love.


Renowned for his bestselling cookbook titles, Massachusetts author Raichlen (Planet Barbecue!)...moves into fiction. Neatly placed twists, ...the star of the novel is Raichlen's vivid depiction of Chappaquiddick beach life paired with some great food.

Publishers Weekly


For the millions who know Steven Raichlen as the last word on barbecue, it might come as a surprise to discover that he has written a beautifully wrought, highly nuanced novel set amidst the distinctive landscape of Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts. What won't surprise anyone, though, is that central to the compelling narrative of Island Apart is the redemptive power of food and a mindfully prepared meal. Claire Doheney, healing from a serious illness at a friend's oceanfront mansion, meets an enigmatic character known locally as the Hermit, and as unlikely as it might seem to both of them, sparks begin to fly over their shared passion for cooking, and love ensues. All of this is threatened when Claire unravels the secret of the Hermit's strange circumstances. Raichlen has moved deftly into the world of fiction, and I, for one, can't wait for his next creation!

Mitchell Kaplan, Founder and owner of Books & Books, Florida, New York, Cayman Islands


I didn't want to put it down. I was so intrigued by the Hermit-couldn't wait to find out what his story was and how the relationship would develop. I loved all of the history and island lore; I adored the food theme and scenes throughout the book. I also love the fact that there's a lot to talk about with this book, and that makes it good fodder for book clubs. I can't wait to have Island Apart in the store.

Sandy Francis, co-owner of The Bookstore in The Grove, Miami, Florida