Stormy and passionate Cliona feels trapped on the island of her birth, and desperately wants to seek her destiny in the city. She plots to get there either through marriage or enticing her lover to escape, but conflicts and the forces of nature conspire against her.


The Mistover Tale tells the story of the frustrated and ambitious Cliona (Naomi Packard Dunn), whose great desire is to leave her native island for the city. When her handsome lover Ned (Kevin Rice) marries the prim Tamsin (Heidi Pulkkinen), Cliona feels betrayed. She turns to Tamsin’s brother Henry (Harry Tappan Heher), who has recently returned to the island, having left a promising career in New York City. Cliona perceives him as her ticket out, while Henry sees her as the key to a simpler island life. They marry, horrifying his proper mother Mrs. Goodrich (Lee Fierro). As time passes Cliona and Henry realize their crossed intentions, and their marriage sours. Desperate, Cliona renews her affair with Ned, which catches the eye of handyman Redmond (Patrick Henaghan), setting off conflicts that impel them to escape. The Mistover Tale shows us how our own natures - and the natural forces around us - can determine our fates, and either destroy or transform us. This modern interpretation of Thomas Hardy’s haunting novel “The Return Of The Native” was shot amid the pristine beaches and open heaths of Martha’s Vineyard.

LONG Synopsis

Cliona MacEgan (Naomi Packard Dunn) is an island native, a stormy and passionate woman who is attuned to the natural world around her: sea, sky, land. While she is bound to her family farm to the care for her ailing father, her great desire is to leave for New York City, where she imagines her destiny as an artist. Her lover, Ned Luce (Kevin Rice), a “summer” person and an idle alcoholic since his parents’ deaths, has become reluctantly engaged to another “summer” person, the kindly, gentle and newly pregnant Tamsin Goodrich (Heidi Pulkkinen). Tamsin is the daughter of a proper widow, Mrs. Priscilla Goodrich (Lee Fierro) who wants only the “best” for her children. Cliona’s handyman Redmond (Patrick Henaghan) is in love with Tamsin, and looks out protectively for her. When Tamsin’s brother Henry (Harry Tappan Heher) returns to the island, having left behind a promising Wall Street career to live a simpler life on the island, their mother is horrified. Cliona sees Henry as a chance to escape her mundane island life, thinking he will take her with him back to New York. Despite Ned’s declarations of love for her, and against his mother’s wishes, Cliona and Henry marry.

The marriage soon turns bitter, as Henry’s desire to remain on the island intensifies Cliona’s anger and frustration. Cliona appeals to the forces of nature around her to help her leave. She and Ned renew their affair and they plan a getaway, but Tamsin, after an earlier miscarriage, becomes pregnant again. Mrs. Goodrich attempts a reconciliation with Cliona but they fight, and when Mrs. Goodrich dies soon after, Henry blames Cliona for her death. Distraught, she asks Ned to help her escape. Their final leave-taking has tragic consequences. Three years later, Tamsin has given birth and found new love with Redmond, and Henry leads a quiet life as the schoolteacher he always intended to be. Seven years pass. Henry, haunted by visions of his late mother and wife, makes a fateful decision. As sea mists lift and sunshine radiates over the landscape, he opens his eyes. The Mistover Tale shows us how our own natures - and the natural forces around us - can determine our fate, and either destroy or transform us. Nature Is Fate.

Photo: © Molly Peters

Photo: © Molly Peters