Where the Story Takes Place
Mangrove Madness happens mostly in Southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico — Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Estero, Bonita Springs, Naples, and the islands off the coast. Ernie also ventures across the state to Miami, and her hunt for Alison’s twin brother takes her to the Bahamas.
Fisherman’s Island — Ernie’s home
Most often you will find Ernie on Fisherman’s Island. The island exists only in my imagination (and Ernie’s). It’s more or less located somewhere in the red circle on the map above.
A description from Ernie in the book:
This is not a luxury resort area we live in. It’s an island that you reach by boat. The developers haven’t found us. Some of the houses are cottages. Until a few years ago, electricity came from generators. We’re lucky to have a grocery store. Well, sort of. We have Billy Sue’s, an all-in-one pizza-breakfast-sandwich-grocery store. At the town dock, there’s also a tourist trinket shop-slash-bookstore-slash-hardware-slash-bait shop, along with gas and parts for boats and cars. Maggie runs that one. That’s it for stores on the island. Nothing fancy, but about everything you need. Most of the tourists are there for fishing, plus a few who like to rough it camp in tents at the south end.
Ernie’s house at Fisherman’s Island
The house was built in the 30s, before power came to the island in the 80s, so there is a backup generator. It’s still needed when the cable that supplies power sometimes needs repair, or when hurricanes take out the power. Ernie’s Mom and Grandmother also added solar panels to the roof.
Water comes from a well and they have a cistern which collects rain water from the tile roof.
Part of Ernie’s description of the house from the book:
“This living room was the whole house in the beginning. The bedrooms are add-ons, two on each end. The kitchen is another add-on. And here is my office, another add-on.”
Outside, our house looks like a bunch of different sized boxes attached to each other, all on stilts, with big covered porches all across the back. Kind of strange, but I like it.