RSS

Review: The Cottage At Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri

09 May

Cottage at glass beachMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This book had solid characters in a great setting, unfortunately the ending knocked down the rating for me.

Summary via Goodreads:

Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts state history, Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife and a 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, Malcolm.

Humiliated and hounded by 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?

Just as she begins to regain her balance, her daughters embark on a reckless odyssey of their own–a journey that will force Nora to find the courage to chart her own course and finally face the truth about her marriage, her mother, and her long-buried past.:

The bones of this book are standard women’s fiction– a woman struggling to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity, and what that means for their marriage. This aspect of the story is handled well, particularly where it looks at the effect on the children, but there isn’t anything compelling or unusual about it.

Where the book comes into its own is when it is dealing with the island that Nora returns to, the island she used to call home. The people, the history, and how they all interrelate with the stories of the past added interest to the books, and distinguished it from many other good books exploring the same basic story. There is a touch of magical realism here, some question as to what is myth and what is real, and I thought that was nicely done through most of the book.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I wasn’t satisfied by the ending, but that may be a personal taste issue. The other thing that dragged this book down a bit in my estimation is that bits and pieces of it, particularly the mythological parts, reminded me of The Salt God’s Daughter by Ilie Ruby, which was a much richer book.

Still, this was an enjoyable light read, and I’m glad to have read it.

I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour.  Thank you for the opportunity to participate.  For other opinions of this book, check out the other tour stops:
TLC Book Tours

About these ads
 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 9, 2013 in books, reviews, tour

 

Tags: , , , ,

2 responses to “Review: The Cottage At Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri

  1. Heather J. @ TLC

    May 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I’m sorry to see that the ending didn’t quite work for you but I’m glad you enjoyed the rest of the book! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 124 other followers

%d bloggers like this: