This book had solid characters in a great setting, unfortunately the ending knocked down the rating for me.
Summary via Goodreads:
Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts state history, Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife and a doting mother. But her carefully constructed life falls to pieces when she, along with the rest of the world, learns of the infidelity of her husband, Malcolm.
Humiliated and hounded by the press, Nora packs up her daughters–Annie, seven; and Ella, twelve–and takes refuge on Burke’s Island, a craggy spit of land off the coast of Maine. Settled by Irish immigrants, the island is a place where superstition and magic are carried on the ocean winds, and wishes and dreams wash ashore with the changing tides.
Nora spent her first five years on the island but has not been back to the remote community for decades–not since that long ago summer when her mother disappeared at sea. One night while sitting alone on Glass Beach below the cottage where she spent her childhood, Nora succumbs to grief, her tears flowing into the ocean. Days later she finds an enigmatic fisherman named Owen Kavanagh shipwrecked on the rocks nearby. Is he, as her aunt’s friend Polly suggests, a selkie–a mythical being of island legend–summoned by her heartbreak, or simply someone who, like Nora, is trying to find his way in the wake of his own personal struggles?
Just as she begins to regain her balance, her daughters embark on a reckless odyssey of their own–a journey that will force Nora to find the courage to chart her own course and finally face the truth about her marriage, her mother, and her long-buried past.:
The bones of this book are standard women’s fiction– a woman struggling to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity, and what that means for their marriage. This aspect of the story is handled well, particularly where it looks at the effect on the children, but there isn’t anything compelling or unusual about it.
Where the book comes into its own is when it is dealing with the island that Nora returns to, the island she used to call home. The people, the history, and how they all interrelate with the stories of the past added interest to the books, and distinguished it from many other good books exploring the same basic story. There is a touch of magical realism here, some question as to what is myth and what is real, and I thought that was nicely done through most of the book.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I wasn’t satisfied by the ending, but that may be a personal taste issue. The other thing that dragged this book down a bit in my estimation is that bits and pieces of it, particularly the mythological parts, reminded me of The Salt God’s Daughter by Ilie Ruby, which was a much richer book.
Still, this was an enjoyable light read, and I’m glad to have read it.
I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour. Thank you for the opportunity to participate. For other opinions of this book, check out the other tour stops:
- Wednesday, May 8th: A Chick Who Reads
- Monday, May 13th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
- Tuesday, May 14th: The Infinite Shelf
- Friday, May 17th: Proud Book Nerd
- Monday, May 20th: Stephany Writes
- Monday, May 20th: Traveling With T
- Tuesday, May 21st: …the bookworm…
- Wednesday, May 22nd: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
- Thursday, May 23rd: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
- Monday, May 27th: Joyfully Retired
- Tuesday, May 28th: Pingwing’s Bookshelf