Winter Reads

When the days get shorter and the temperature drops, it’s the perfect time to curl up with a good book. Here are a few recently published page-turners penned by South Shore authors.


Before the Mayflower

Set 33 years before the Mayflower’s Atlantic crossing in 1620, this meticulously researched work of historical fiction incorporates the stories of real life families like the Brewsters and Bradfords with a fictional London family of printer Nicholas Okes. The book illuminates the importance of the printing press and how it inextricably linked the English who separated from the King’s Church, like the Brewsters and Brewers, who jointly published controversial books in Holland. In this story, a romance between one of the Okes daughters and a Brewster son brings the families back together, standing on the docks in Southampton, waiting for the ships to be readied for the Atlantic voyage. In the end, who will make the dangerous journey, and will it be for love, land, or religious freedom? Author Jennifer Sinsigalli lives in Duxbury. She is a Williams College graduate and former historical interpreter in the 17-century English Village at Plimoth Patuxet Museums. Proceeds from the book support Plimoth Patuxet Museums (Plymouth, Massachusetts) and to the American Leiden Pilgrim Museum (Leiden, the Netherlands). Donations will also be offered to the Pieterskerk, Hooglandsekerk, and Weaver’s House Museum (Leiden, the Netherlands), as well as the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam, the Netherlands).

Pickleball Is Life: The Complete Guide to Feeding Your Obsession

The ultimate keepsake for every pickleball fan, “Pickleball Is Life: The Complete Guide to Feeding Your Obsession” (HarperCollins Publishers; October 2022) is a guide to America’s fastest growing recreational sport. Easy to learn, but impossible to master, pickleball provides a good workout and a cheerful way to interact with others—something people crave now more than ever. It’s no wonder that nearly 5 million people nationwide have picked up their paddles and taken to the court. Author Erin McHugh is a former publishing industry executive and the author of 30 books of humor, inspiration, trivia, children’s, history, and LGBTQ topics. The South Dartmouth resident is an avid pickleball player. Her book takes readers on a journey from the sport’s quirky origins to its modern-day cult following. Along the way, vibrant 4-color illustrations share even more pickleball knowledge, including etiquette tips, a DIY court, obscure rules, and pointers for (good-natured) trash talk. So, whether they’re uninitiated or obsessed, readers will find even more to love about the world’s greatest sport.  IG: @erinmchughhere.


Forever Home: How We Turned Our House into a Haven for Abandoned, Abused and Misunderstood Dogs—and Each Other

Co-authored by Hingham’s own Larry Lindner, “Forever Home” (HarperOne; October 2022) is a heartwarming story that chronicles the journey of Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta, founders of Danny & Ron’s Rescue and the stars of the Netflix documentary “Life in the Doghouse.” The book delves into how the couple came to establish one of the most successful dog rescues in the world and details how they managed to rescue, rehabilitate, and adopt out over 14,000 abandoned and abused dogs—right from their own home. Based in South Carolina, Robertshaw and Danta became even more committed to their cause after Hurricane Katrina left thousands of pets homeless. In this touching memoir, we get a look at how Danny and Ron successfully provided pets in need with the care and love that they deserve. Ultimately, “Forever Home” conveys a message of acceptance, kindness and love and serves as a reminder that hope and joy can arise from the darkest of circumstances, and that we all can make the world a better place for ourselves and our animal friends. 

Dark Rivers to Cross

Penned by Scituate author Lynne Reeves Griffin, “Dark Rivers to Cross” (Crooked Lane Books; November 2022) is an emotionally charged novel of domestic suspense that sensitively addresses adoption, inherited trauma, and the stories that parents keep from their children in hopes they can protect them from truth’s painful realities. The novel’s central character, Lena Blackwell, has kept her sons sheltered and close by her side for over two decades, working and living at their successful Maine river lodge. When Lena’s son Jonah insists on searching for his biological family, she resolves to stop him from discovering what is certain to shatter the peaceful life she’s built for him and his brother. At first, she’s successful hiding her devastating secrets. But when friends from her past unexpectedly arrive at the lodge, a series of events is put into motion that Lena is unable to halt, jeopardizing the very relationships she’s lied to protect and forcing her to sacrifice everything, perhaps even her life, to protect her sons. The story “Dark Rivers to Cross” examines the extraordinary ways family trauma changes relationships, creating disparity between what we want for ourselves and the ones we love.