The Bird Skinner

From the publisher:

It is 1973. Jim Kennoway, a distinguished ornithologist and Second World War veteran, has just left his work at the Natural History Museum in New York, turned his back on his family and retreated to an island boathouse off the coast of Maine. His desires are simple: to be left alone with his cigarettes, gin and battered copy of Treasure Island, and to forget. Jim’s solitude is shattered when Cadillac Baketi, a tall, ebullient and dazzlingly bright young woman from the Solomon Islands arrives on her way to study medicine at Yale University. Cadillac is the daughter of Tosca, an island scout Jim befriended during the war when they collected and skinned birds while spying on the Japanese. Jim curses the intrusion as he finds his thoughts catapulting back to his youth and a dark truth about his time in the Solomons. Yet it may be that Cadillac, from the Pacific islands Jim thought he’d left behind, can teach him to be human again.