Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Book Review: The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

Pages: 368
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 25, 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Library
Other Books By Author: You Were There Too
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars  

Goodreads says, "Sometimes all you need is one person to really see you.   Piper Parrish's life on Frick Island—a tiny, remote town smack in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay—is nearly perfect. Well, aside from one pesky detail: Her darling husband, Tom, is dead. When Tom's crab boat capsized and his body wasn't recovered, Piper, rocked to the core, did a most peculiar thing: carried on as if her husband was not only still alive, but right there beside her, cooking him breakfast, walking him to the docks each morning, meeting him for their standard Friday night dinner date at the One-Eyed Crab. And what were the townspeople to do but go along with their beloved widowed Piper?  Anders Caldwell’s career is not going well. A young ambitious journalist, he’d rather hoped he’d be a national award-winning podcaster by now, rather than writing fluff pieces for a small town newspaper. But when he gets an assignment to travel to the remote Frick Island and cover their boring annual Cake Walk fundraiser, he stumbles upon a much more fascinating tale: an entire town pretending to see and interact with a man who does not actually exist. Determined it’s the career-making story he’s been needing for his podcast, Anders returns to the island to begin covert research and spend more time with the enigmatic Piper—but he has no idea out of all the lives he’s about to upend, it’s his that will change the most."


Tom and Piper Parrish have been together for years; they are childhood sweethearts as they both grew up on the remote Frick Island off of Maryland and have stayed there as a married couple. Tom is a fisherman and on one tragic morning he goes out on the Chesapeake and doesn't return. His boat was capsized and his body is never discovered. This is obviously extremely upsetting to not only Piper, but the small-knit community of Frick Island. Piper does something peculiar though; she carries on as if Tom is still alive and the townspeople go on with it as well. They talk to Tom as if he is there with Piper and Piper continues to live her life with her invisible husband.  Enter budding journalist Anders who gets assigned a rather frivolous article on Frick Island's annual Cake Walk.  While there on the island, he is extremely intrigued by how simple they live (no wi-fi, no chain restaurants or stores, etc), and he is also curious about Piper. Once he meets her, he is instantly attracted to her, but things get weird once he finds out she not only is married, but her husband is invisible.  Someone sends him an anonymous tip that the real story isn't the Cake Walk. So, Anders stays on for awhile trying to figure out Piper, the island, under the pretense of the hot topic of climate change.  Anders secretly starts a podcast about Frick Island and it becomes successful.  He feels ok about Frick Island residents, especially Piper, not finding out about this podcast, because after all, there's no internet, but what if someone tells her? The Invisible Husband of Frick Island is a quiet and charming beach read that was the perfect companion to a lazy, sunny afternoon. 

Piper is such a delightful character in The Invisible Husband of Frick Island. The entire town is quirky, but in the kind of way that tugs on your heartstrings. Piper is the same way.  Readers will instantly feel the loss of her husband and sympathize with her hallucinations.  I love that the townspeople support her so blindly that they would pretend Tom is still alive just to provide her some comfort. In the long run, I am not sure that's what is best for her mental health, but the residents come from a good place.  Anders, not being a Frick Island resident, finds this extremely interesting that an entire town would play along with these hallucinations!

Anders is your typical young journalist who doesn't get the good articles, but instead gets the fluff pieces. That's why he is covering Frick Island's Cake Walk in The Invisible Husband of Frick Island. It's absolutely boring and he knows the article won't advance his career, until the anonymous tip makes him think further about Frick Island and get to know Piper. Her hallucinations really intrigue him and he makes it the focus of his new podcast, even though he said he was going to focus on climate change's impact on the island.  His podcast becomes extremely successful, but then things get awkward. What if the townspeople find out about the podcast as well as Piper? They were just starting to trust him, especially Piper. As time goes by, Tom becomes very friendly with them not to mention has feelings for Piper, so obviously there's a major conflict here.

The setting of Frick Island was one of my favorite parts of The Invisible Husband of Frick Island. It's absolutely charming. I wish I could go visit! It kind of makes you long for a quieter time and even though I know I'd miss the internet, it makes you think about the busy life we lead.  I loved all the quirky residents and their support of each other. It was adorable! Frick Island is the perfect coastal escape for the summer.

If you are looking for a quiet and heartwarming book to snuggle up with this summer, check out Colleen Oakley's The Invisible Husband of Frick Island. It made me think about how people grieve, but ultimately left me feeling hopeful.  

Are you a fan of Colleen Oakley? Have you read this novel or is it on your TBR list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 



  1. I'm so looking forward to reading this one! Sounds like the perfect cozy read. ;)

    1. It really was! I hope you enjoy it, Joy! Thanks for visiting.

  2. I've read one novel by her, and it seems that the unconventional romance is her thing! I might have to give this one a try!

    1. It is! She does a good job with it. I hope you get to read it soon. Thanks for dropping by, Angela!

  3. Thanks so much for your reviews! I will be picking up a couple of the books now.


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