To purchase Young or Contentment Cove, visit the Islandport Press Web site.
Islandport Press is an independent Maine-based publisher dedicated to producing quality books and other materials that detail and amplify the rich social, cultural and economic history of Northern New England.
We strive to tell good, accessible stories that give authentic voice to real people.
Wind off the Water (1945)
The story of three brothers and the Maine villages in which they live. The brothers are fishermen as their fathers were before them, bred to the sea and bound to it from childhood. Two of them contentedly live the hard life of the sea, their wives and their children sharing with them the inevitable fortunes of winds and storms. But the younger brother has taken a wife who could never find contentment in one man or one place.
Day of the Trumpet (1947)
The time is the last half of the 19th Century; the scene a tiny Maine fishing village; the chief characters are two boys growing up together on that harsh coast. Justin Sand has the nimble wit and ruthless drive to win his way in business at the expense of friendship, in love at the cost of a broken heart. The market for lobsters is opening up and Justin, a rash captain and a shrewd buyer, learns the dangers and the sudden rewards of a rough-and-tumble business on its way to building a whole region to prosperity.
Twenty-four hours in the lives of two young women who have just graduated from high school. Colwell says that this is the most autobiographical of her novels. May Sarton wrote of the freshness, clarity and honesty of the novel's perceptions, "uncompromisingly true to the characters involved." Robert Linder found Young "an amazinly perceptive study of the modern girl in her late adolescence. What J.D. Salinger did for the [American] male, Miriam Colwell has done for the [American] female."
Contentment Cove — Miriam's fourth novel set in Maine and her first in more than five decades — is a riveting story of class distinctions in a 1950s Down East coastal village during a time of cultural change.
Meet Dot-Fran, Hilary, and Mina, three residents of a Maine coastal village in the 1950s. Dot-Fran, the youngest, is a native; she runs the town's drug store. Hilary, middle-aged, is a worldly artist. The wealthy Mina and her husband retired to the town after being enchanted with its charm during a one-night visit. Their disparate lives become entwined and eventually clash tragically.
The story — which features recognizable "Maine" characters as well as those "from away" — takes place over only a matter of days one summer.
And while Maine-native Colwell infuses Contentment Cove with humor, it is nonetheless a novel that deals with serious issues that remain relevant today, none more compelling than the erosion of one way of Maine life and the evolution of another.
The story of Contentment Cove's release is also interesting. Originally written by Colwell in the 1950s, the manuscript was set aside and forgotten. Colwell rediscovered it in 2005 and it was soon published in limited release by the late Constance Hunting, a University of Maine professor and head of Puckerbrush Press. Because of Hunting's death in 2006, the book went out of print almost immediately. The rights were then acquired by Maine-based Islandport Press, which fast-tracked the book for a widespread release in the spring of 2007.
> to top of page