The Miracle on Monhegan Island

A Novel

Elizabeth Kelly (Author)

Logo markA Liveright book

Overview | Formats

The best-selling, award-winning author of The Last Summer of the Camperdowns returns with another rollicking, summertime family saga.

Maine's rugged, picturesque Monhegan Island is home to weathered lobster fishermen and curious tourists…a genial if sleepy group. But when Spark Monahan—rakish prodigal son—returns unannounced to the dilapidated family home, his arrival launches a summer the likes of which this quiet town has never seen.

During Spark's absence, his young son Hally has been cared for by what remains of the Monahan family: Spark's gentle brother Hugh and their shrewd, fork-tongued father Pastor Ragnar. Pastor Ragnar has led them with an iron will and a unique religious ideology, while Hugh has been busy mending the scars of a tumultuous family history. Spark's reentry into the family is rocky; even as adolescent Hally warms to his father's flair for mischief, he struggles to define himself against this new paternal figure. Testing the limits with one dangerous prank after another, Hally suddenly stuns the entire island when he claims to have had a spiritual vision.

Though Spark remains permanently dubious about the alleged apparition, Pastor Ragnar pounces on the chance to revive his flagging church. Hally is shoved into the spotlight and, in the frenzy that follows, each man in the family fights for independence, understanding, and ultimately forgiveness against the tide of a phenomenon reaching far beyond the slippery slopes of their remote island home. Their unforgettable saga is narrated by the character best suited to sniff out the family's uneasy secrets: Spark’s charismatic, fiercely loyal dog, Ned. Never at a loss for a quip on the stormy affairs of the Monahan family, Ned tells their larger-than-life story with humor and love from his uniquely privileged perspective.

An uproarious tale of an eccentric family of fathers and sons, The Miracle of Monhegan Island is another delightful summer blockbuster from Elizabeth Kelly.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • May 2016
  • ISBN 978-1-63149-179-5
  • 6.6 × 9.6 in / 336 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe Miracle on Monhegan Island: A Novel


Endorsements & Reviews

“Ned is an excellent guide to the Monahan world…Cleverly, Kelly uses the dog’s-eye view to give us access to places and conversations only Ned could witness. Man’s best friend turns out—no spoiler alert needed—to be a most reliable narrator.” — Stephanie Clifford, New York Times Book Review

“Risk-taking fiction from Kelly (The Last Summer of the Camperdowns, 2013, etc.), this time featuring a canine narrator, an apparition, and a whole mess of trouble between fathers and sons. Whatever resemblance the wry musings of Ned may bear to the inner life of an actual Shih Tzu, he serves Kelly brilliantly as an outside observer suddenly thrown into the dysfunctional interactions of the Monahan family…Kelly allows her vulnerable, fallible characters to grope toward better understandings of themselves and each other, with Ned acting as their engaging and affectionate chronicler. More terrific work from a writer who gets better with each book.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Who needs a bird’s eye view when you can see the world through a dog’s eyes instead? All the better if that world happens to be gorgeous coastal Maine, as seen by the opinionated family pup in Elizabeth Kelly’s exquisite and occasionally uproarious Miracle on Monhegan Island. If you think your family is dysfunctional, you’ll love the madcap Monahans. Their story is so memorable, touching and dog-eat-dog (sorry), it can only be told by a true insider.” — Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens

“Serious and thought-provoking, shot through with dark humor and dark observations on religion and faith. . . . The Miracle on Monhegan Island builds slowly from a story about a dysfunctional family to a novel about obsession, religious fervor and mental illness — and the sometimes very fine line between them. Even with a canine storyteller, this is one of the meatier books of the summer.” — Laurie Hertzel, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Charming, witty, and well-paced novel…this novel is equally thrilling and therapeutic.” — Booklist

“At once touching and humorous, Kelly’s story boasts a plethora of themes and an enticing plot, complete with suspenseful moments . . . While Kelly’s multidimensional characters and descriptions—even the olfactory ones—are evocative and engaging, the winning element of this story is Ned’s voice, which provides an entertaining perspective on a dog’s life.” — Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)

Also by Elizabeth Kelly All

  1. Book CoverThe Last Summer of the Camperdowns: A Novel