One winter night in 1973, Jim Kennoway returns in secret to his summer home on Fox Island, in Maine's Penobscot Bay. He has been an army lieutenant; a naturalist with a book about the avifauna of Oceania to his credit; an ornithologist and skinner of birds for New York City's American Museum of Natural History; and an unreliable husband and father. Now in his early seventies, having lost a leg to disease, Jim is fast turning into an alcoholic recluse, like some later-life Ernest Hemingway figure: "He'd become a mothballed, dried-up skin himself. A shriveled specimen preserved by alcoholgin, in his case."
Life will not allow him to slip away into drunken oblivion just yet, though, for in a stunning clash of worlds, he will soon play host to a young woman from the Solomon Islands (see 'Beyond the Book'). Jim spent some time in Guadalcanal and its sister islands when...
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