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Originally published in Compass, July 12, 2012
Local author to launch new book

Deer Isle author Brenda Gilchrist

Deer Isle author Brenda Gilchrist’s new memoir Waltzing with Bracey: A Long Reach Home will be launched Tuesday, July 17, at 7 p.m. at a free public reading and reception at the Stonington Opera House. For more information visit

Photo courtesy of Opera House Arts

On Tuesday, July 17, at 7 p.m., Opera House Arts will present the book launch, reading, and celebratory reception for Deer Isle author Brenda Gilchrist’s new memoir, Waltzing with Bracey: A Long Reach Home. The book will be officially released July 15, and this will be the first public chance to hear excerpts from it and to purchase a copy. The event is free to the public and will feature dramatic readings from the memoir by community actors Ish Bicknell, Dana Douglass, Hendrik Gideonse, Rich Howe, Judith Jerome, Cherie Mason and Ron Stegall, according to a news release from Opera House Arts.

Waltzing with Bracey describes how Gilchrist faced-up to her family ghosts while learning to claim her place in the world—Deer Isle, Maine—when she inherited a large, shingle-style summer cottage on the coast of Deer Isle from her Aunt Eleanor. As a middle-aged New Yorker whose childhood was spent in various world capitals, she moves to Maine full-time in 1990 with her corgi puppy Bracey in tow, setting out to claim not just this big, rambling, shingle-style pile of a house but also her own life. There she confronts the many ghosts of her august—overachieving and rather intimidating—forebears and their friends and visitors, including Charles Loring Brace, Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, and John Steinbeck. Bracey is vital to this process, serving as companion and example. Gilchrist discovers there is a great deal to learn from this energetic little alpha, who seems never to have known a self-doubt in his brief, well-furred life.

For more information call 367-2788 or visit the Opera House’s website at operahouse