Meredith, New Hampshire, July 7th, 2014: Madrone, Jack B. Rochester’s second novel about Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, joined Wild Blue Yonder on the shelves at Innisfree Bookshop today. Pictured beside Jack, Fictional Cafe’s Head Barista, is Kyla Goulet, an Innisfree bookseller and aspiring author in her own right. “There is no feeling to compare with seeing a book you wrote on the shelves in a bookstore,” said Jack. “I can’t wait to see mine there, too,” Kyla said, grinning. “You’re a gifted writer,” Jack replied, “and I’m certain that will happen.” All this quipping while Innisfree manager Beverly Newton snapped photos. “We can’t wait to have you do a reading,” she said.
Wild Blue Yonder, published in 2012, is the first installment in the story of Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, a 1960s college dropout who joins the Air Force to avoid the draft and Vietnam. It has garnered enthusiastic praise. Madrone is the sequel and picks up Nate’s story where WBY left off. Pre-publication readers have been equally enthusiastic.
“I’m particularly proud to see both of my novels in one of the best indie bookstores I know of,” said Jack. “And that’s not vapid praise. I moved to Lincoln, New Hampshire, in 1991, where the first Innisfree shop was my favorite hangout. I always marveled at the wide selection of really interesting books, obviously thoughtfully chosen. I first met the writing of John McPhee on Innisfree’s shelves. He made an indelible impression on my own nonfiction writing.”
In case you’re wondering, the name Innisfree is based upon “the Lake Isle of Innisfree, a poem by one of my very most favorite poets, William Butler Yeats, and Irishman. There is in Ireland an island named Innisfree. Here is Yeat’s poem:
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
Who among us could not benefit from a book in hand, a quiet place and a little peace?