A Novel Close to Home

J. F. Riordan’s new novel North of the Tension Line, based in Door County and written by a Wisconsin author, has been awarded the Gold Medal for Great Lakes Regional Fiction by Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY). The IPPY Awards aim to bring recognition to the many quality books produced by small and independent publishers.

North of the Tension Line, published by Beaufort Books, is the first of a series by Riordan. It is the story of Fiona Campbell, a newcomer to Ephraim. Populated with artists and summer tourists, Ephraim has just enough going on to satisfy Fiona’s city tastes. But she is fascinated and repelled by the furthest tip of Door County – Washington Island, utterly removed from the hubbub of modern life. In a moment of weakness, Fiona is goaded into accepting a dare that she cannot survive the winter on the island in a decrepit, old house. Armed with some very fine single malt scotch and a copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Fiona sets out to win the dare, and discovers that small town life is not nearly as dull as she had foreseen.

Although she lives elsewhere, Riordan likes to say that she lives in exile from Washington Island. North of the Tension Line is her first novel.