The University of Wisconsin Press


Downeast Ledge
A Novel
Norman Gilliland

A wistful comedy of locals and summer people in coastal Maine

Changing times and personal failings have brought life to a standstill for the natives of Ashton, Maine. On the far side of the river that divides the coastal town, the prosperous summer residents come and go, seemingly complacent, without having much to do with the locals.

But when Amber Waits crosses the river to take a job as a caregiver to dementia sufferer Walter Sterling, all bets are off. She finds herself thrown into the troubled lives of Walt, his distracted wife Geneva, and their resentful and reckless daughter Karen. And although he seems unaware of his surroundings, Walt begins to exert a strange influence on Amber and her friends. Karen becomes determined to make a dream come true by taking up with Robin Dunning, a local seafarer with a shadowy past and questionable future. As Amber tries to fend off one catastrophe after another, she has to muster her courage and resourcefulness to save her friends and herself.

Norman Gilliland is the author of two books about classical music, Grace Notes for a Year and Scores to Settle, as well as two previous novels, Sand Mansions and Midnight Catch. He is also a producer at Wisconsin Public Radio.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

Of Related Interest
Midnight Catch
A Novel
Norman Gilliland
A Depression-era story of rum-running, politics, and murder in Florida's north country.


December 2013
LC: 2013904698
388 pp.   6 x 9

Book icon
Paper $21.95 t
ISBN 978-0-9715093-6-8
Shopping cart ADD TO CART

“You'll be rooting for Norman Gilliland’s well-drawn cast despite all their human flaws—or perhaps because of them. A rewarding, touching read.”
—Kelly Harms, author of The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane


Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated June 4, 2013

© 2013 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System