The setting for my book Weekend Warrior is the beautiful and historic Martha’s Vineyard. Thomas Perkins III and Mary-Jane Jones, the hero and heroine of the story, both have a long history with the island. Thomas’s family, originally from Boston, has a summer home on Chappaquiddick, while Mary Jane’s family has lived on the island since the early 1800s.
When Mary Jane runs away to Oak Bluffs, she hopes to rediscover herself, but finds that her true spirit is still there, waiting….
Fealty to family and history
Senior Chief Thomas Perkins comes home from his latest mission, expecting to be hailed as his family’s weekend warrior, instead, his wife tosses him legal papers as she walks out the door.
When Mary Jane Perkins flees to her childhood home in Oak Bluffs, she just starts to rediscover herself when Thomas arrives begging her to come home.
Can she go back to her old life now that she’s found inner peace?
HAPPINESS FROM MARTHA’S VINEYARD, USA
My 5-Oh! road trip
In the North East corner of Martha’s Vineyard, an island off Massachusetts, USA, is the town of Oak Bluffs, a magical historical and cultural core of living Black American history.
To get there we, my sister and I took a nine hour road trip from Ontario Canada, over the border into the US, through the Adirondack Mountains, down through New York State until we finally reached the tip of Massachusetts.
We arrived in Oak Bluffs via the ferry, and stepped into the most unexpected place of historically charming gingerbread houses, traditional manners and rich culture set in the middle of a diverse population of people from all walks of life.
The island area, known for being one of the wealthiest black resort communities, is bright and alive with charismatic cottage inns and restaurants, most established in the early 1900s and currently run by family members and generations of their descendants.
Not at all what I expected from the place known as ‘The Kennedy’s Playground.’
ONE MINUTE HISTORY
Oak Bluffs is the place where elite African American families go to vacation and experience their rich history. It was in the 1600s that the first slaves arrived on Martha’s Vineyard as apart of European households. Later, after slavery was abolished, through the 1800s to the 1960s, the Oak Bluffs Harbor ushered in fleeing and freed slaves who bought land from the locals and established themselves through churches and businesses and by building summer homes as the area’s population flourished. Time made it tradition for families to return to the island annually, Oak Bluffs being the only place on the island that welcomed African Americans until the 1960s. The Inkwell, pejoratively named though now a statement of pride, is a stretch of the town beach frequented by the black population since the late nineteenth century. Along the boardwalk is a collection of benches with carefully crafted and heartfelt engravings that tell the Inkwell’s story.
I am so happy, honoured and humbled to have had the opportunity to visit this incredible place. The people were delightfully warm and friendly and willing to welcome you to their little corner haven. From the time you step off of the ferry, the downtown core is alive with a certain kind of magic that just has to be felt and experienced to be believed.
Download these photos from Martha’s Vineyard to use as backgrounds or screensavers for some armchair travel, or when you just want to enjoy a feeling of happy escape.
Photos from: https://vineyardgazette.com/news/2014/08/07/smithsonian-recognizes-african-american-legacy-oak-bluffs. https://hollywoodlife.com/2016/08/04/sasha-obama-summer-job-uniform-nancys-restaurant-marthas-vineyard-pics/