By Miriam, April 27, 2013
"Because I have visited this wonderful island and because I dearly love "tourist places" in the quiet off-season, I totally enjoyed the pace, descriptions, minute details and the quiet and sensitive romance within the book. It is obvious that the writer truly cherishes the real life on Ocracoke and I appreciated the opportunity to participate in both the mundane and the historic and every detail in-between that the author leisurely opened to me the reader."
By Elizabeth Cook, Salisbury Post, April 2013
At last Edward P. Norvell of Salisbury has explained—indirectly, at least—why he spends so much time on Ocracoke Island. The charms, resources and customs of life on this barrier island come through in Norvell's third book, "Ocracoke Between the Storms: A Story of Love and Healing on the Outer Banks."
At times, you can almost smell the salt air and taste the fresh scallops.
Norvell wraps island life around a love story. Grieving the loss of his wife in a traffic accident, 26-year-old Luke Harrison walks deeps into the surf off Ocracoke with the end in mind. But life is not through with him yet. Longtime islander Hank Kilgo snatches Luke up and pulls him to safety on what is a new, foreign shore for Luke—a life of acceptance and fresh beginnings.
Readers in the Piedmont will notice the local touches Norvell includes in his main character's early life. Luke's estranged mother was a Cannon Mills worker, ad he grew up in foster homes. He crossed the social divide by marrying Karen Coltraine, the daughter of a prominent Concord family with connections to the mill. After Karen's death—and visitation at Whitley's Funeral Home—Luke packed up and left the home they shared in Kannapolis.
As he settles into Ocracoke Luke befriends the natives and starts working through his grief.
"If love of a place is the coin of great fiction, then Edward P. Norvell is a wealthy writer indeed. In his latest novel, Ocracoke Between the Storms, his passion for the North Carolina coast shines as brightly as ever. We see it in his depiction of the place and its people, in the rhythm of life in such a beautiful corner of the world. If you love the South or value stories of love and loss, then this book is a must-read." –John Hart, New York Times best-selling author of Iron Horse
"Edward P. Norvell uses the age-old customs, flavors, and beauty of his beloved Ocracoke Island to set the scene for a story of heartbreak and healing." –Elizabeth Cook, Salisbury Post
"Edward P. Norvell's love for North Carolina, especially Ocracoke, shines through in his latest novel, a paean to the wonders of the Outer Banks and the triumph of love over adversity." –Mary Jane Park, Tampa Bay Times
After losing his beloved wife four months earlier, Luke Harrison plans to end his tormented lie by walking into the surf at the southern end of Ocracoke Island. But retiree Hank Kilgo has a different plan for the young Luke. After rescuing Luke from drowning, Hank brings him home to his wife Cora. Cora sees her own son in Luke and immediately starts to rekindle Luke's will to live.
Over the next two years, Luke comes to know the permanent residents as well as the seasonal workers who staff the local bars, restaurants, and summer attractions during Ocracoke's tourist season. As he gets to know the people of Ocracoke, he is drawn to their strong sense of community and admires their close ties to nature. His newfound friends quickly expose him to all the local entertainment options, which range from bonfires on the beach at night and day trips to the Vera Cruz sandbar to clamming, scalloping, and fishing. He also learns about the ling history of the island as well as the current controversies that dominate local politics.
As time passes, the magic of Ocracoke and its people begin to heal Luke's wounds. He finally arrives at a point in his life where he realizes that he has been given a second chance at life and vows to start his life anew.