Under the Table Books


Ida’s Place—Book One: Return (2014)

idasplacereturn | Under the Table Books

This is the first volume of the four Ida’s Place novels set in and around Ida’s Place, a bakery café in the mythic coastal town of Big River in far northern California.

As the novel begins, Ida Kaminsky, the brilliant and charming mother of the equally brilliant ten-year-old Simon, returns to her birthplace with her son after a twelve-year absence to reunite, she hopes, with her childhood sweetheart Donald Covey, a fisherman turned carpenter.

The larger story revolves around Donald and Ida and Simon and their complicated and emotional attempts at reunion, the death of Ida’s father, the building of Ida’s Place, the assembling of the large and remarkable staff, and the birth of a community of friends and lovers, their mysteries and dramas and romances just beginning to unfold as prelude to Book Two.

Ida’s Place—Book One: Return is chock full of intriguing characters, including Maeve, Donald’s delightful Irish mother, Nazrun, a sexy Turkish savant, Elena, an exotic Lithuanian baker, the Romanian Gypsy sisters Mada, Livia and Anica, Eddie Ontiveros, farmer and strong man, Camino Massenet, carpenter and master accordion player, and Duyi, Jiahui, Joe, and Far Ling, owners of the cavernous old building that Ida’s Place shares with Golden Buddha, the Ling’s Chinese restaurant.


To whet your appetite, here are the first three chapters of Ida’s Place—Book One: Return.

Praise For Ida’s Place Book One: Return

Thank you, thank you. I am in love with your characters. Unique, and unforgettable, one and all.

Susan Binneweg Jones

I devoured the book in a day. I feel it is the most perfect love story by you yet. I was left breathless.


Such a good read! I loved it. But now I am very anxious for book two. When will it be finished?!

Clare Bokulich

Reading slowly so I do not finish it too soon. Delightful and wonderful and full of the joy and light that always live in your books.

Andrew Campbell

I had forgotten what it’s like to enjoy a book so purely and unambiguously and happily and want nothing more than to keep reading. I love it. It gave me a kind of reading—joy I haven’t had much since I was thirteen and fourteen, a tingling sort of excited comfort—moving along eagerly but resting at the same time, happy to be in the book’s world.

Alex MacBride

Inquiries welcome.


Under the Table Books
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Mendocino, CA 95460


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