Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
From Michael Hurley, winner of the Chanticleer Reviews Grand Prize for his debut novel, THE PRODIGAL, comes a complex and ambitious tale of old money, young passion, and ancient mystery in a classic New England seaside town.
Dory Delano, Charlotte Harris, and Turner Graham have been drifting through life since their days as roommates at Smith College, ten years ago. Dory is resisting taking the reins of her family’s legacy and fortune even as she relishes the fabulous lifestyle it affords her in the fashionable seaside resort of Martha’s Vineyard. She invites her old friends to join her for a summer on the Vineyard in hopes of rediscovering the innocence of old days and healing new wounds. But hidden in their midst and unknown to all but a few, a reclusive—some say dangerous—fisherman wanders alone, fueling wild speculation about his purpose and his past. None of these women can imagine the events their encounter with the fisherman will set in motion, the shadow he will cast over their destinies, or the transformation that awaits the world they know.
Wow…a great read… Now of course the challenge will be telling you what a gripping tale this is without giving any crucial details away 🙂 .
Dory (Eudora Delano) is a member of one of the most established and wealthy families of Martha’s Vineyard – the Delano family. Dory is “Vineyard” stock and has lived a life of privilege. But is that all life is about? Dory does not want to do as she has been brought up to do….marry the right person regardless of love and feelings, have children, partake in high society, etc. Dory wants a life filled with love and passion…but will her mother let her? Dory is a strong woman, but her encounter with the “fisherman” irrevocably changes her life forever. So gut wrenching is all I can say.
Charlotte is a lost soul after the loss of her child Madeleine, and then the demise of her marriage. She comes to Martha’s Vineyard to stay with Dory with the express intent to end her life….to join her daughter in the afterlife. As a result of differing belief systems within Charlotte’s marriage, Charlotte put off baptising Madeleine…and then fate took over and it was too late to do so. Charlotte, the very first night in town, leaves Dory’s home to do the “deed” (commit suicide), however, fate (or should I say the “fisherman”) intervenes. And so death is averted. But many mysteries surround how Charlotte was saved. I must say….whether Charlotte knew it or not, she is one strong woman…the sheer number of weird things to happen to her would drive the average woman crazy (I was so close to tears a couple of times for Charlotte). Charlotte certainly has suffered and continued to suffer as the story unfolds…but she survives against all odds.
Turner is good people, but has had a challenging life. She looks for the quick way to make it big, but frequently misses the mark (or so it seems). Turner fancies herself a writer and has a blog with a handful of followers….until she blogs about the events of the evening that Charlotte attempts suicide and the resulting “miracle” as to why she is still alive. This event certainly changes Turner and as her story unfolds, I was confused and many varying emotions were brought out. At times I was spiting mad at some of Turner’s insensitive actions and at other times, I wanted to cry for the odd happenings that seemed to plague Turner’s life.
All three women were at loose ends so Dory invited her friends to spend the summer with her at her family’s estate at Martha’s Vineyard. The gals encounter old friends (Tripp, Smoke (scum bag that he is) and new acquaintances (Enoch, Simon, Father Vecchio) and the woven tale is intricate, interesting and held this readers attention throughout.
The complexity of other characters is also very evident in this story. Tripp (Trafalgar) Wallace has been essentially the de facto intended for Dory all her life…they skirt around getting involved…until this summer. Interesting, unique and even twisted events happen between Dory and Tripp which will leave you shaking your head with disbelief. Learning of Enoch’s story from his mother was very gripping. I also had VERY strong emotions regarding Father Vecchio….
Okay…..I promised not to give too much away…so I must stop here. As with all books, this will be entertaining for some and not so much for others. For this reader I found the story gripping and entertaining. It held my interest throughout. The character development was excellent and at all times, I felt like I was living the story. The emotional gambit was great and touching. But read this book for yourself and make up your mind.