KENNEY, SUSAN [MCILVAINE] (1941– ). Born in Summit, New
Jersey, Susan Kenney teaches at Colby College and has written two works
with nautical themes: Sailing (1989) and One Fell Sloop (1990). Both are
based on her experiences steering boats and her apprehension about sailing.
Sailing follows middle-aged Sara and Phil Boyd in their purchase and sailing
of a twenty-year-old sloop. Though she herself takes no pleasure in sailing, to
Sara the boat symbolizes a gift of hope and renewed life that she can give Phil,
who is ailing with cancer. To Phil, the boat symbolizes self-discovery and control over his destiny; his final voyage alone is a literal one. Sailing becomes a
metaphor for the best the married couple can know about each other and
about their relationship. One Fell Sloop, set in the waters near a coastal island
in Maine’s Penobscot Bay, is a nautical mystery that includes a chase and
rescue at sea.