Island Bluffs Synopsis
ISLAND BLUFFS is a story of forgiveness, of understanding the dark side of the human spirit, and plumbs the age-old question: are children and grandchildren accountable for the sins of their parents? It is also a love story
Carly Mason, NY’s top forensic dentist is married to a widower, Gabe Berk (née Berkowitz), and is now trying to start a family. Gabe has a seventeen year old, rebellious daughter – Megan – from his first marriage. Having exhausted all of NYC’s top fertility experts, Carly and Gabe learn of an eccentric scientist, a survivor of the Mengele twin experiments, who runs an exclusive clinic near the Jersey shore. The doctor will help Carly provided that she agrees to a Faustian deal: Carly must agree to carry twins, one will be biologically hers and for the other, she will function as a surrogate. She must agree to give the surrogate baby up to the doctor at birth, no questions asked. We learn that the doctor has created this same deal – always with success – ten other times. There is one last caveat: Carly and Gabe must move to within thirty minutes of the clinic in her last trimester.
Dreams dash into nightmares when the Berks – including Gabe’s elderly father Yehuda who is a Holocaust survivor – move into an old house that time forgot, in the town of Island Bluffs, near the doctor’s clinic. One event after another challenges the Berks as the town’s elders struggle to contain a secret they have kept since the early days of World War II, when the German Bund was alive and active in the area.
It soon becomes apparent theirs is no ordinary house . . . and Island Bluffs is no ordinary town. Gabe and Carly feel eyes spying on them at every turn; Yehuda hears strange noises that only he can hear; and Megan is attracted to the son of a Neo-Nazi. To add to the mysteries, a scavenger ship mysteriously plies offshore for buried treasure and we glimpse a lone swimmer, on occasion, lumbering through the waves of Barnegat Bay. In time, we learn that this unnamed man’s identity is part of the town’s long-held secret.
Mysteries deepen as Carly’s happiness is clouded over when she learns that the fertility clinic is inhabited by a strange collection of teens. All boys, no females. Are these boys from bartered pregnancies like hers? Is the doctor a pedophile? Carly needs to know because there is no way she would ever let him take the second child only to be placed at risk. She challenges the doctor and weeps when she hears his answer.
The enigma of Island Bluffs challenges the very core of morality where forgiveness and retribution intersect. It plumbs the raw emotions of octogenarians who have survived the vilest scourge known to mankind – the mass extermination of the Jews – as the reader is drawn into the trials and tribulations of the Berk (née Berkowitz) family, who move to the laconic town of Island Bluffs on the Jersey shore to overcome their infertility issue at the hands of a most eccentric doctor. As the story unfolds it will, by turns, amaze and shock.