Winner: 2013 Independent Publisher Award (IPPY) Silver Medal for Literary Fiction
The Isle of Kheria might be read as an elegy to the 20th century, or as a paean to the confusions of youth and its aftermath. But, more directly, this novel is the portrayal of a conflicted and unresolved forty-year friendship between two men deeply wounded by the circumstances of their lives. Still grief-stricken over his wife's recent death, Joel Brewster leaves his Canadian farm when he learns of the death of his best friend, Aidan Allard. In what may have been suicide, Aidan drowned while swimming off the coast of Khería, an island in the Agean. Filled with dread, Joel journeys to Kheria, seeking answers to Aidan's death, while confronting longstanding feelings of guilt. The lives of these men make for compelling stories, spanning much of the twentieth century and beginning with childhoods in England and New England; then frontline soldiering in World War II; exile to Greece at the time of its civil war; and with subsequent rebellion and searching for alternatives in Italy, England, the US and Canada; as well as throughout their attempts at love with women, and with each other. Far off Kheria's rocky coast, looming over all, is the foreboding presence of Khímaera, an mythic islet, an illusory goal. The Isle of Khería is written in a haunting, poetic prose, a unique style acclaimed in Cabot's earlier novels, The Joshua Tree and That Sweetest Wine.