Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sea Change by Karen White

Title: Sea Change Author: Karen White Publisher: New American Library Pages:392

From the back cover:

For as long as she can remember, Ava Whalen has struggled with a sense of not belonging, and now, at thirty-four, she still feels stymied by her family. Then she meets child psychologist Michael Frazier and thinks her days of loneliness are behind her. After a whirlwind romance, they impulsively elope and Ava moves to Matthew's ancestral home on St. Simon's Isl;and off the coast of Georgia.

But after the initial excitement, Ava is surprised to discover that true happiness still eludes her.  There is much she doesn't know about Matthew including the mysterious circumstances surrounding his first wife's death.  And her new home seems to hold as many mysteries and secrets as her new husband.  Feeling adrift, Ava throws herself into uncovering Matthew's family history and that of the island, not realizing that she has a connection of her own to this place- or that her obsession with the past could very well destroy her future.

Although I'm usually not big on books that pull heavily on romance for the story line, I have been a Karen White fan since I first began reading the Tradd Street series.  I also loved The Color of Light. Some of her books are a little romance-heavy for me but she weaves a good story.  This one I liked in that it relied less on romance and more on the story itself.  I like the setting White chose for the story and her descriptions of St. Simon's island are wonderful. She creates a great sense of place. At first I couldn't put this book down, but as it got toward the end I found myself getting less excited.  I couldn't understand why Matthew was so secretive about his former wife.  He hadn't even bothered to tell Ava about her before they married.  (Agreed, it was a whirlwind romance, but wouldn't a former marriage come up at some point?) I felt like it got a little wordy and I was also left not completely believing the ending of the Pamela/ Georgina/ Geoffrey storyline.  I guess the ending was a little unsatisfying.  All in all, this was a pretty good read, although not my favorite by Karen White.  I still look forward to her next book, and I would still recommend this one to any one who loves a good southern mystery.

Read this book if...
*you love southern fiction
*you love mysteries
*you love books with an island setting

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