Clear Skies, Deep Water

AVAILABLE NOW in paperback and digital formats from Chautauqua Institution Bookstore and bookstores everywhere, or order online from SUNY Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble,

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After a year of devastating personal and financial loss, Beth Peyton and her husband, Jeff, moved to the hamlet of Maple Springs, New York, on Chautauqua Lake to pick up the pieces of their lives, certain to be in a place that they loved and certain of nothing else. As they worked to restore a neglected old house, the community, the beauty of the lake, and the old-fashioned sensibility of the place comforted them. While Peyton’s story traces the couple’s progress toward recovery, it also includes tales of the silly, colorful, and warm characters who became their neighbors and friends. Whether it’s the mystery of Emil and Betty’s lost blue plate, dead bodies in the water, or memories of karaoke at the Village Casino, Clear Skies, Deep Water is a testament to the healing power of rituals, friendships, the beauty of the natural world, and the possibility of grace. Filled with nostalgia about an America that has slipped, or is slipping away, it will resonate with anyone who has searched for meaning and home.

Clear Skies, Deep Water is a gentle, quietly moving memoir about the power of nature and community to heal and inspire. This is a writer’s elegant and spirited love letter—to her husband, to a lake, and to a wonderfully quirky collection of characters; it shows how you can find a place you truly belong, no matter where you are in life or what you’ve been through. And if you don’t already dip your buttered toast in your coffee, after reading this book, you’ll be tempted to start.” — Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club

“In prose as luminous and as poignant as moonlight on lake water, Beth Peyton has written a love song to life, marriage, and the healing power of place. Honest, tender, at times hilarious, this is a memoir to be read and savored again and again.” — Jane Candia Coleman, author of Mountain Time: A Western Memoir

“A perceptive and deeply sensitive human story. Beth Peyton’s memoir is a paean to a unique place that, during a time of great sorrow and loss, provided the author and her husband with a sense of security, a measure of solace, and the promise of renewed possibilities.” — Michael Steinberg, author of Still Pitching: A Memoir

Beth Peyton earned her MFA in creative writing from Carlow University, where she studied in both Pittsburgh and Ireland. She lives with her husband, Jeff Hunter, and her dog in western New York State. This is her first book.

4 thoughts on “Book

  1. Bill White

    Enjoyed your book, which I purchased at the Chautauqua Bookstore. I grew up summers in Maple Springs from 1947 in the blue and white cottage on the circle, next to the old shuffleboard court, behind the old tennis court. The Whiteside Hotel was where the condos are now, and the tennis court was in the open space between the condos and shuffleboard bldg.

    After graduating from Jamestown High School in 1959, I spent less and less time there until the summer of 1976, when the cottage was sold by my parents.

    Maple Springs was always a quiet haven on the lake. I tour through there every time I return to the area. Your book caught the magic, fun, relaxed atmosphere, and spicy variety of neighbors – both seasonal and full-timers – beautifully.

    bill white

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