“There are many beautiful books about Martha’s Vineyard, but this is the indispensable one. Alan Brigish’s ravishing photographs capture the island as it is; Susan Klein’s warm and wistful words remind us of what once was. One third of this island’s open and wilder spaces are still up for grabs. It is for our generation to decide if we want more tourist dollars and more development, or whether we will take stewardship of this precious, fragile place, preserving it for our children and the children of the future. Anyone who loves the island needs this book.”
Geraldine Brooks, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature
“Rather than expecting you to connect with it, this book deliberately and provocatively connects with you. It reaches out and grabs you. And it does that at many levels”.
Dave Stein West Tisbury
“I just finished a first reading of your book. I say first, because I am sure we will read it many more times. It is stunningly beautiful in both text and photos. It really captures the essence of this island that we all call our ‘special place’.
Allan Pekor, Vineyard Haven
“Pictures can show us the way things are and the way things were, but only stories can spin the threads that link past and present and direct our gaze toward the future. Here Alan Brigish’s spectacular images and Susan Klein’s eloquent words evoke Martha’s Vineyard as it is and as it was, and urge us to consider the treasures lost as well as the beauty that remains. Here is a Martha’s Vineyard both fragile and robust, subtle and exuberant; an Island of breathtaking places and wonderfully expressive faces. Attention must be paid, says every page of this magnificent book, to the particulars, to the roadside “honesty boxes,” where passersby pay for flowers, produce, eggs, all on the honor system; to the camaraderie of the Thrift Shop; to those whose lives are still guided by the rhythms of land, sea, and weather. These things are priceless — but when budgets are drawn up and compromises made, they so often lose out to priorities with price tags attached. Many of the celebrations and rituals pictured here take place in the short summer season: the daily gathering of the “Polar Bears” at the Inkwell, the Fourth of July parade, the Holy Ghost Feast, the Grand Illumination, the Agricultural Fair, and more. For visitors, newcomers, and old-timers alike, these offer a window into both the history and the current life of Martha’s Vineyard. So does Martha’s Vineyard Now and Zen. Open its covers, step through — and be changed.”
Susanna Sturgis, author of The Mud of the Place
“Susan and Alan, Thank you for your brilliant words and eye. What a joy! Like a breathe of fresh air. Your essays reflect what I feel in my heart about the Island…and have validated my love of the celebration of Island traditions while acknowledging the struggle to hold on to what is still possible and to grieve the loss of what is not.”
K. Child, MA
“This is great work: the photos are so amazing and the story that goes
with it draws me right into every scene. I wanted to sit on the pink
porch once again, and boy did I want to go into my kitchen and make jam!”
S. Oglesby, AZ
“The photos are wonderful, rich, vivid.  Susan’s stories are glimpses of a world like the one I live in rural Maine, a town changing, never to go back, commodified beyond control, but still holding on to nests of warmth, familiarity, comfort.  Thank you both!”
J. Radner, ME
“Wow!  Unbelievable sensory imagery…’the voices of our grandmothers are on the wind’…takes my breath away…so true.”
S. Whitworth, MA
“Simple and poignant this memoir evokes a time gone by.”
C. Taylor, MA
“Thank you now — and I think I’ll be thanking you for many months to come — for naming our treasured places, people and habits, and challenging us to think about how to re-set the balance.”
P. Moore, MA