Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Shore by Sara Taylor

 The Shore

The Shore: a group of small islands in the Chesapeake Bay, just off the coast of Virginia. The Shore is clumps of evergreens, wild ponies, oyster-shell roads, tumble-down houses, unwanted pregnancies, murder, and dark magic in the marshes. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it's a place that generations of families both wealthy and destitute have inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a half-Shawnee Indian's bold choice to escape an abusive home only to find herself with a man who will one day try to kill her, to a brave young girl's determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, the characters in this remarkable novel have deep connections to the land, and a resilience that only the place they call home could create. 

Through a series of interconnecting narratives that recalls the work of David Mitchell and Jennifer Egan, Sara Taylor brings to life the small miracles and miseries of a community of outsiders, and the bonds of blood and fate that connect them all.

Spanning over a century, dreamlike and yet impossibly real, profound and playful, THE SHORE is a breathtakingly ambitious and accomplished work of fiction by a young writer of remarkable promise.

 This book seemed to me to actually almost be a collection of novellas. I normally enjoy the books that go from one time period to another. But this one left me mostly confused. There were so many people to try to get to know. Even with the "family tree" in the front of the book it was too confusing.

While definitely not a book that I couldn't put down I did find the descriptions to be so real that I felt like I was there and the writing was wonderful. Ms. Taylor is obviously a gifted story teller and I will certainly pick up her next book and give it a try. But I don't really recommend this one.


This book was given to me by the Blogging For Books program for my unbiased opinion.

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