Washed Ashore:

Family, Fatherhood, and Finding Home on Martha's Vineyard

The story of a man coming into his own by coming home.

Since he was a boy, Bill Eville knew he wanted two things in life: to be a writer and a father. Being a minister’s husband had not been on this list, having left the church as a teenager as soon as his parents stopped making him go each Sunday.

In Washed Ashore, Eville’s life changes when his wife Cathlin takes a job as the first female pastor of a 350-year-old church on Martha’s Vineyard, the island that was once home to generations of his ancestors. With their two small children in tow, the couple begins a new life eight miles out at sea.

Readers follow Eville’s journey from stay-at-home-dad to newspaper editor as he discovers what it means to be a writer, a father, and—after his wife’s devastating breast cancer diagnosis—what it truly means to be a minister’s husband. Washed Ashore, told in a series of linked essays, is poignant and funny, filled with faith, struggle, and light.

PRAISE

“Here is life: rich, raw, glorious and complicated. Bill Eville’s experiences are at once singular—married to a minister, living on an island—but also universal. In this memoir, he writes about his ordinary, extraordinary existence with warmth, wit, elegance and heart.”
Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March

“A touching and heartfelt memoir that explores parenting, love, illness and faith with buoyancy and hope. Like a visit to the Vineyard, it stays with you for a long time.”
Gary Shteyngart, author of Our Country Friends

“There are few writers—people, in general—who can make us acutely aware that the very guts of our lives are constantly spilling out of us. It is the even rarer human-writer who can help us curate those hurts and joys and passions, to organize the unorganizable. Bill Eville is such a writer and Washed Ashore is a book I will never forget. It will make you appreciate your own life, and I’m not sure there is much more we can ask a book to do.”
Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women

Bill Eville is the editor of the Vineyard Gazette, where his work has garnered numerous awards from the New England Newspaper & Press Association. He is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MFA from Florida State University. His essays have appeared in print and on-air at venues such as The New York Times, This American Life, The Moth, and WBUR’s Cognoscenti. He lives on Martha’s Vineyard with his wife and two children.