The Eastern Shore
Ned Ayres has one true life passion: the newspaper business. A newspaper career isn’t the expected path in 1950s rural Indiana, and in the small town of Herman, Ayres is a black sheep. Still, he doggedly pursues his ambition, moving from his hometown paper to bigger and better publications in Chicago and, ultimately, Washington, DC. Though he falls in love along the way, no woman can compete with the whirl and intrigue of the newspaper, and Ayres is more or less at peace with being alone. That’s not to say his life is without regret. A sensational story from early in his career has haunted him throughout his life, forcing him to weigh questions of privacy, censorship, and basic human decency–questions that aren’t always welcome among the writers, editors, and publishers who make up his world.
Readers looking for an insider’s view of the newspaper business or a story about snagging the story won’t find it in The Eastern Shore. Instead, Just provides a large-picture summary of one man’s quest for happiness and fulfillment. What readers will take away is the unsettling idea that some things can’t be gotten over, that some choices can’t be re-made, and that a path set upon as a young man may, in the end, be a one-way road.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt