by Kim Ridenour Raikes
The Quadrant: At the Mother of Waters is the first in a 3-volume narrative journey set in 19th century New England and on the high seas. Against the backdrop of conflicting traditions and beliefs, this shared account traces the unveiling merger of three unlike mariner —a Maine sea captain, a ship’s doctor, and a Welsh gypsy seaman—whose journey ultimately unites their lives and cultures, even as it divides their families and communities.
Taking place over many years, and over a wide range of locales—
from the underground dance halls of Boston’s waterfront to the Romany campsites of North Wales, from the heights of Rio Janeiro to the beach heads of Anjier—this is a hard-fought victory of human wholeness over social convention, conflicting responsibilities, self doubt, and separation at sea.
In its harsh and unyielding historical context—one which holds up a
mirror to societies today—this story poses questions still critical to readers: Can persons of opposing backgrounds conquer the barriers which divide them? Can their transformations in turn transfigure the communities around them?
About the Author
Kim Ridenour Raikes is a member of the faculty of Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, where she teaches writing and humanities. An important aspect of her teaching career, which began 37 years ago in Marjoyoun, Lebanon, is global education, and she has led numerous study abroad programs for American students in Ireland, Great Britain, and India. As an ordained minister and student of world religious traditions, she has long incorporated spiritual themes in her writing and academic researches.
Beginning in Beirut in 1978 and continuing over the course of the next 30 years, Raikes worked on this novel daily, drawing not only from primary researches into historical records and sailing ship logs, but also from her personal experience of the working waterfront. Though these outer resources were important shaping influences, the key inspiration for this story came in the form of the three narrative voices which emerged from within, and the historical places which took shape though unseen.