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Independent Press Award

2024 Distinguished Favorite

The Gathering Room: A Tale of Nelly Butler

Michelle E. Shores

In 1797, Captain George Butler has returned home with his wife, Nelly, and the beginnings of a family. A successful sea captain turned merchant, George is financially well-off and a pillar of his community. But lurking in the shadows is Lydia Blaisdell, a young girl who some say speaks with spirits. She and George have a history, and it’s all about to unfold in a bizarre love triangle with a supernatural twist. Based on a true story, The Gathering Room re-creates the lives of George, Nelly, and the young Lydia until that fateful day in 1800 when the dead rise to speak, lives are changed forever, and a small town on the coast of Maine is divided by an epic ghost story that has been retold for over 200 years.

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