by John Leggett
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John Leggett’s newest novel features 30-ish painter Quentin Shaw, who quits his satisfactory job at a prestigious Boston firm to prove his artistic gift. He packs his wife and their infant son off with him to arty Cape Ann where, after months of discouragement, Quent is discovered by Miles Proctor, the flamboyant impresario of Crow Island, a seaside gallery of contemporary art. While Quent rejoices in the parties and the opportunity, Joyce dislikes Miles and feels he is leading her husband into new, and even more dangerous, self-deception.
Meanwhile, the spirited women in Miles’s life join Bruce Gregory—a self-pronounced champion of tomorrow’s outrages in painterly abstraction—and other familiars of Crow Island in a perilous storm funnel of ambition, scorn, love, lust, and death. Crow Island is a beautifully crafted story about the risk of doing one’s thing and the fear in every artist’s heart that his is a selfish, egotistical path… one that is doubtlessly doomed. “Mr. Leggett’s ability to create flesh-and-blood characters is impressive.” —The Reporter