Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review: The Silver Boat by Luanne Rice

When you see white shells on a book cover, it is generally a pretty good indication that the book itself is a beach read. That is very definitely the case with Luanne Rice's latest, The Silver Boat.

Dar and her sisters are having to say goodbye to their family home on Martha's Vineyard after the long illness and eventual death of their mother. Dar is the only one remaining on the island, her sisters having built their lives and families elsewhere so she is perhaps the most affected by the hard decision to sell the family's house and land. As time winds down for the McCarthy daughters and the memories they have rooted in this home, Dar finds letters from her father to her mother. He had always maintained that his family had a royal land grant on the island and so he left to sail to Ireland in search of proof of his claim. Michael was always assumed lost at sea but something in the letters makes Dar believe that he could possibly have made it to Ireland and found the proof about which existence he was so adamant and so she heads off to investigate for herself.

While Dar takes the majority of the focus here, there is a veritable crush of other characters as well, all of whom seem to be suffering in some way. Both Delia and Rory, the other two sisters, are facing family dysfunction of grand proportions and Dar is a rather prickly, curmudgeonly, recovering alcoholic. Their friends on Martha's Vineyard are not terribly well-fleshed out and are unremittingly eccentric. Family drama this has in spades but it has too much going on and too little focus on the primary storyline to be terribly effective. It does, however, fulfill the promise of the cover: a superficially entertaining beach read albeit one that will stay in memory for a shorter time than the sand will stay in your beach bag.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book for review.

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