Books, Documentaries, Reviews: July 24, 2016
I’ve heard Elisabeth Ogilvie’s name since I moved to Maine twelve years ago. And saw her books in book stores off and on.
But I’d never read any of her books until this spring.
There are A LOT of her books, but at least seven of them take place on a fictional island, Bennet’s Island, out near Matinicus Island somewhere. And, “Limerock” is certainly Rockland. Camden appears as Camden from time to time.
The first six books comprise two trilogies. I am on the sixth book, and it is going with me to the J&E Riggin later today.
I am a sucker for books set in or about Maine, so I’m not sure everyone would like these books. Ogilvie died in 2006 in nearby Cushing, Maine, shortly after we moved up here, and started publishing in 1944. Her books were very popular back in the day. Today they read a bit old-fashioned, but I bet back then they were a bit racy in ways.
In any case, I am enjoying them a lot. As I have moved through them, I can see that her books get more complicated, have more depth, are better written. The characters are interesting and compelling. And I am loving reading about lobstering and drag seining back in the day on a virtually self-sufficient island.
Ogilvie was born and went to school in Massachusetts, but summered in Maine. As an adult she lived on a 33-acre piece of land on Gay’s Island, and, I think, wintered ashore in Maine. She fostered children.
Another interesting thing to note is that she had a “significant other” woman companion. So, in that, she joins other writers who lived in Maine: Willa Cather, Lura Beam, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Mary Ellen Chase.
This wiki link lists Ogilvie’s books: