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Linda Cardillo
The Uneven Road

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Innisfree—the wild and isolated land on Chappaquiddick Island where Josiah Monroe grew up—was the only place where he felt he belonged. When his parents make the painful decision to sell the land, the loss of Innisfree catapults the entire family into a spiral of disconnection. Josiah abandons the island in anger, seeking to redefine himself and reconcile his mixed Wampanoag and Irish heritage in a wider, more dangerous world marked by the turmoil of the Vietnam War and the cultural upheaval of the Sixties. His family struggles not only with Josiah’s alienation but also with the debilitating polio suffered by his sister, Izzy. At the same time, the new owner of Innisfree becomes a force driving them apart. Ultimately, it is the power and magic of the island itself and the bonds of family that call them back to one another.

Semi Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 10.00 out of 10


Plot: Although the plot is a bit episodic, this is ultimately a satisfying look at a family trying desperately to reconcile its past.

Prose: The writing here is top-notch. The prose is smooth, effective, and flows well. That said, the quotes that start each chapter can feel a bit forced.

Originality: The strength of a family drama depends on the empathy readers feel for the characters. Mae, Izzy, Josiah, and the others are worthy of sympathy and empathy.

Character Development: Although Josiah's character arc is impressive, this story is truly that of an entire family healing.

Blurb: A satisfying family drama set during an unforgettable, life-changing time in history.

Date Submitted: August 31, 2018