Islands of the Gulf Volume 1, The Journey
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Plot Summary: To Andre Boudreau, Herbert West is the Doctor, who saved his life in the Great War. Andre will follow him into Hell if necessary. Margaret Bellgarde knows him as Dr. Francis Dexter, attractive but mysterious. One day she will be shocked by what she is willing to do for his sake. But who is he really? She doesn’t know – and the possibilities are disturbing.
More Details: Boulogne, France, 1916. Wounded soldier Andre Boudreau awakes to find himself under the care of renegade physician Herbert West of Arkham, who is serving as a medical officer in the Great War. Having lost his memory and reluctant to return to a home and family he cannot remember, at the end of the War Andre gratefully accepts West’s offer of employment.
In Arkham, Andre works as chauffeur, valet and lab assistant, serving with unquestioning devotion the man he calls the Doctor. He remains loyal when West is forced to escape from Arkham by drastic means, changing his name to Francis Dexter. In the course of a bizarre journey across North America, Andre finds himself in charge of their travels as Dexter, his health and judgment impaired, grows increasingly unstable.
Arriving by tramp steamer on the West Coast, Andre is eager to begin a new life, despite his loyalty to the Doctor. A chance meeting brings them to Bellefleur Island, where Andre finds work as a lighthouse keeper. Hoping that the island may offer a chance for the Doctor to begin anew as Dr. Francis Dexter, Andre leaves him in the hands of Margaret Bellgarde.
Married young to ambitious lawyer Richard Bellgarde, Margaret is devastated when he volunteers for service in the Great War and is killed in action. Offered a home on Bellefleur Island by her father-in-law, Margaret gives birth to her son there and becomes absorbed into the island’s life.
With the arrival on Bellefleur of Dr. Francis Dexter, Margaret finds herself questioning him about his past and herself about her future. Showing him the beauties of her island home, sharing conversations and experiences, Margaret gradually comes to find Dexter attractive as well as mysterious. Charming but evasive, Dexter builds a successful medical practice and spends summers exploring the coast with sailor and artist Julian Vernon.
When tragedy strikes, Margaret finds herself in a unique position to help Dexter, but first she must choose between the inclinations of her heart and the principles she has taken for granted all her life. Her choices have unfathomable consequences for her family and the island she loves.
- Audrey Driscoll, January 2012
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