09 June 2023

Water Music by Marcia Peck Blog Tour and Guest Post! @Bookgal @therealbookgal

The bridge at Sagamore was closed when we got there that summer of 1956. We had to cross the canal at Buzzards Bay over the only other roadway that tethered Cape Cod to the mainland.

Thus twelve-year-old Lily Grainger, while safe from ‘communists and the Pope,’ finds her family suddenly adrift. That was the summer the Andrea Doria sank, pilot whales stranded, and Lily’s father built a house he couldn't afford. Target practice on a nearby decommissioned Liberty Ship echoed not only the rancor in her parents' marriage, a rancor stoked by Lily’s competitive uncle, but also Lily’s troubles with her sister, her cousins, and especially with her mother. In her increasingly desperate efforts to salvage her parents' marriage, Lily discovers betrayals beyond her understanding as well as the small ways in which people try to rescue each other. She draws on her music lessons and her love of Cape Cod—from Sagamore and Monomoy to Nauset Spit and the Wellfleet Dunes, seeking safe passage from the limited world of her salt marsh to the larger, open ocean.

Marcia Peck’s writing has received a variety of awards, including New Millenium Writings (First prize for “Memento Mori”) and Lake Superior Writers’ Conference (First Prize for “Pride and Humility”). Her articles have appeared in Musical America, Strad Magazine, Strings Magazine, Senza Sordino, and the op-ed pages of the Minneapolis StarTribune. Marcia’s fiction has appeared in Chautauqua Journal, New Millenium Writings, Gemini Magazine, and Glimmer Train, among others.

Growing up in New Jersey with parents who were both musicians, Marcia set out to be the best cellist she could be. She spent two years studying in Germany in the Master Class of the renowned Italian cellist, Antonio Janigro. Since then she has spent her musical career with the Minnesota Orchestra, where she met and married the handsome fourth horn player.

Marcia has always been a cat person. But she has learned to love dogs—even the naughty ones, maybe especially the naughty ones.

Website: https://www.marciapeck.com/

Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/marciapeckFB

Amazon: https://amzn.to/431Z6aE

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/128305404-water-music

Guest Post

When I decided to set WATER MUSIC in the ’50s on Cape Cod, I hadn’t heard about the the1952 sea rescue of the Pendleton, a tanker split in two in a howling winter nor’easter ten miles off the coast from Chatham, Mass. Four young coast guardsmenin a wooden boat meant to hold 16were dispatched to rescue 32 sailors. En route, the windshield and compass of the rescue motorboat itself were destroyed by a crashing wave. Navigating only by their wits and instinct in freezing temperatures and high seas, they saved 31 of the 32 sailors. The Coast Guard considers it the greatest rescue by a small boat in its history.

When I finally read an account of the Pendleton rescue and was inspired by the bravery of four supposedly (!) unremarkable young men, I knew the setting of WATER MUSIC would come to play a central role in the book. I, myself, had spent summers there when I was growing up and had come to love not only the extraordinary ocean beaches and kid-friendly bayside beaches but also the saltwater coves and ponds, the mysterious crustaceans, and even the ubiquitous sand.

Somehow, as I was writing, that mysterious border where the sea meets land seemed to manifest the friction in Lily Grainger’s family. The erosion in the relationship between eleven-year-old Lily and her mother became anchored in the landscape. As I was writing, I tried to listen to remembered rhythmic tides or storm warnings that echoed the push-pull of the extended family dynamic. That gave me the courage to go all in on letting the wind and weather mirror the family’s troubles


“What happens when a writer plays cello in a professional orchestra for her entire career? Her prose soars. In Water Music, Marcia Peck traces one intricate, intimate melody through the symphonic complexity of a disintegrating family’s summer on Cape Cod. Music and love are interchangeable. Here is a book worthy of reading aloud—and cherishing.”

—Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, author of Swinging on the Garden Gate

“Peck has written a moving and melodic triumph of imagination and story, a fine harmony of intimacies and passions.”

—Nicole Helget, author of The Summer of Ordinary Ways, The Turtle Catcher, Stillwater 


Giveaway for a signed copy of Water Music, along with a chocolate bar. Marcia has 5 sets to give away, US only.


  1. Marcia Peck is a new author to me, but I want to thank this blog for the introduction.
    I look forward to reading this book.

  2. When you do I hope you enjoy it! Thanks Audrey!



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