Terrence Murphy

I left the North Shore as a young adult, spending decades practicing medicine while raising a family in Boston. But to rephrase an old saying, you can take the boy out of Egg Rock but you can’t take Egg Rock out of the boy.

It’s no surprise, then, that I set my sights on the place I have loved most of all as the inspiration for this collection. The stories are more of an elegy than a eulogy. Small towns, quaint and inviting to the outsider, always have secrets, and the reader soon learns that Egg Rock is no paradise. No place is.

Forty Steps and Other Stories (August, 2018) takes the reader to the tiny town of Egg Rock, set on a peninsula on the coast just north of Boston. Some stories are based on local legends, others on historical events and still others are pure fiction. They take place as far back as the Viking explorers and ahead to the 22nd century and are linked not only by their setting but by the reappearance of characters, their ancestors and descendants. Readers will recognize some characters from my novel, Assumption City.

Each story can stand alone, but when read in sequence they build on each other like chapters of a novel. As the narrator of “The Black Mine” says, “The older I get, the more connections I see.”