Book details

Macmillan Children's Book

Margreete's Harbor

A Novel

Author: Eleanor Morse; read by Tavia Gilbert

Margreete's Harbor

Margreete's Harbor


About This Book

A literary novel set on the coast of Maine during the 1960s, tracing the life of a family and its matriarch as they negotiate sharing a home.

Eleanor Morse's Margreete’s...

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Book Details

A literary novel set on the coast of Maine during the 1960s, tracing the life of a family and its matriarch as they negotiate sharing a home.

Eleanor Morse's Margreete’s Harbor begins with a fire: a fiercely-independent, thrice-widowed woman living on her own in a rambling house near the Maine coast forgets a hot pan on the stovetop, and nearly burns her place down.

When Margreete Bright calls her daughter Liddie to confess, Liddie realizes that her mother can no longer live alone. She, her husband Harry, and their children Eva and Bernie move from a settled life in Michigan across the country to Margreete’s isolated home, and begin a new life.

Margreete’s Harbor tells the story of ten years in the history of a family: a novel of small moments, intimate betrayals, arrivals and disappearances that coincide with America during the late 1950s through the turbulent 1960s. Liddie, a professional cellist, struggles to find space for her music in a marriage that increasingly confines her; Harry’s critical approach to the growing war in Vietnam endangers his new position as a high school history teacher; Bernie and Eva begin to find their own identities as young adults; and Margreete slowly descends into a private world of memories, even as she comes to find a larger purpose in them.

This beautiful novel—attuned to the seasons of nature, the internal dynamics of a family, and a nation torn by its contradicting ideals—reveals the largest meanings in the smallest and most secret moments of life. Listeners of Elizabeth Strout, Alice Munro, and Anne Tyler will find themselves at home in Margreete’s Harbor.

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press

"Full of love, triumph and a boatload of heartbreak, Margreete’s Harbor is a celebration of life’s inevitable messiness. As after any good visit with family or dear friends, you will leave feeling satisfied while yearning for more." -- BookPage, starred review

Imprint Publisher

Macmillan Audio



In The News

Advance Praise for Margreete’s Harbor:

“I was held spellbound by the brilliance and beauty of Margreete's Harbor. The family, the children, the music, the pets, the senile grandmother, the idealistic father, still live in Maine, in my heart and mind, like all the very best novels we are given to treasure.” —Nancy Thayer, best-selling author of Girls of Summer

Margreetes Harbor is a novel that embraces your neighborhood, then the people who live on the other side of the world; then you. It cradles us all and shakes us awake. If you don’t want to feel your heart expand or to live a bit closer to your own bones, don’t read this book. If you want to feel more, to understand more than you felt and thought yesterday, start reading and don’t stop.” —Sena Jeter Naslund, best-selling author of Ahab’s Wife

“Margreete's Harbor breaks and mends the heart in the way of all great literature. It’s a collective story, roaring with love in the little moments. Profound revelations about relationships, emotions, and life in general. Descriptions of land, place, animals, and the natural world: some of the best I've ever read. The narrative moves with power, grace, and vivid music through history and the characters simultaneously--and differently. The people Morse writes are so real that I wouldn’t be surprised to meet them on the street.” —Neela Vaswani, author of Where the Long Grass Bends

"Eleanor Morse's Margreete's Harbor, a polyphonic novel in which each voice is earned yet blends seamlessly with the others, shines with its author's warmth, humanity, and intelligence: I'm a better person for having read it.” —Robin Lippincott, author of Our Arcadia

Booksellers are raving about Margreete's Harbor!

"I found Margreete’s Harbor to be a poignant look at our complicated relationships and lives as we seek to understand ourselves. I loved this book. I loved that while I was reading about a family in the 1960s, I could relate all the emotions and experiences with the current state of affairs in our country, as well as tie correlations with current life. From coming of age themes, to childcare and elder care, to marriage issues, coming out, political views and even #MeToo moments. Readers will connect with the characters in a way that inspires self-reflection as well as a look at our place in the world. Great storytelling!" —Ellen Speers, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

"Eleanor Morse peers deeply into the most intimate and reflective parts of her characters with grace and wit. This real family and their friends are flawed in subtle, believable ways and we are wiser for being along on their journey. This is a tale seeped in music, the rocky island Maine coast, the joy of children and the complexities of adults." —Kira Wizner, Merritt Bookstore, Millbrook, NY

Margreete's Harbor has truly captured my heart, and captivated me over the weekend. I fell in love with the characters, especially Margreete and Bernie, yet all the others too. The writing is exquisite with just the perfect placement of words on the page. . . The novel has a strong sense of place in Maine, so much so that you can almost smell the salty spray of the ocean, hear the stillness of the falling snowflakes in winter, or the smell of green grass and the sounds of peepers in the spring. Set against the backdrop of the 1950s and the Vietnam War gives it such a sense of time, you could almost feel like you were back living in those unsettling times. (I wasn't quite old enough but just.) I just swooned with some pages." —Annie Philbrick, Owner, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Margreete's Harbor by Eleanor Morse is a richly delineated family story set in coastal Maine from 1955 to the late sixties, showing the fullness of family life - love, responsibility, heartbreak, change, and hope. . . Morse's novel makes us aware of how both family and love bring us together and tear us apart. It is ultimately a story of hope, even if that hope is hard won." —Don Luckham, The Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH

About the Creators

Margreete's Harbor

Margreete's Harbor