Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Cottage at Glass Beach

Title: The Cottage at Glass Beach Author: Heather Barbieri Publisher:HarperCollins Pages:302

I borrowed this book from my local library.

From the inside cover:
Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts State history,Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife and 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, Malcom.
Humiliated bu 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?

 From the cover blurb, I was a little hesitant.  I was afraid it would be another romance set on a beach.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case.  It was part coming home novel, part mystery, with a little bit of the supernatural thrown in.  The mystery unveils itself a little at a time, and keeps you guessing up to the very last page.  I must say that I found Ela to be a bit irritating, and  unlikable.  As mother of a daughter, I feel guilty saying this, but it is true.  She seems totally unreachable.  I found myself thinking, "Well send her to her dad!! Get her some counseling! Just get her out of this story!"  Sorry, Ela, but you're a selfish brat. Some of her actions were justifiable, but seriously, the child needed counseling.  I can understand her being upset about her parents' separation, but she took it too far. The fact that both parents were so caught up in themselves that they couldn't see the child was mentally unstable was, sadly believable in this day and age. Lastly, I do feel there were a few unresolved issues in the end.  I still had questions.  I won't spoil it for anyone. Let's just say I'd have liked an epilogue. All in all, it was a good read.  Plenty of twists and turns. Not boring at all.

Read this book if....
*you love mysteries
*you love stories with a beach/ island setting
*you love stories about survival after divorce / separation
*you love stories with a supernatural element


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    Beth :o)