ABOUT THE BOOK:
“Bay Harbor wasn’t a picture postcard town. The war was an awkward memory, its trenches returning some to the small Florida gulfport, though not the men they used to be. What Bay Harbor’s residents hadn’t expected was the change and tragedy the soldiers would bring home. No one loved Bay Harbor more than twelve year old Anna Lee Owens, daughter of the deputy sheriff. A livewire too observant of Bay Harbor’s secrets, she indulged in death tours, dreamed of lighthouses, and worshiped the tragic Tyler Rose. She played rascal with Tyler’s cousin T. J. at his father’s funeral home, and longed for the grace of the mercurial Lola. Among the tide of soldiers and unexpected travellers, Anna Lee’s youth teeters precariously; Hilton Fields returns to Bay Harbor. Her father’s best friend, he ignites cataclysmic changes leading to an act of heartbreaking betrayal that changes the course of their lives forever.”
This story is told through the eyes of young Anna Lee, and offers us her perspective on the affairs, small town gossip, and betrayals within Bay Harbor. If you like literary fiction then you are in for a treat with this 2nd book in the Bay Harbor series. I have not read the 1st book: Chinaberry Album, which is fine as this holds its own perfectly as a stand-alone work. This is a moving read, that pulls you fully into the small town and the lives of its inhabitants.
The book is approximately 226 pages in length, and I read it in one comfortable sitting. I found it gripping throughout, even though there are no high points of racing drama – quite simply this excellent book doesn’t need it. The book is written from an omniscient point of view, so that we get to see what everybody is up to, but mostly it shows us life through 12 year old Anna’s eyes. The book has been edited and proofed to a very high standard and reads smoothly and easily.
It took me a matter of a few hours to finish this book, partly due to its length but also due to its readability. Although the 2nd in a series, it does not lose anything if the reader comes to this book first. Anna Lee is a character you won’t forget easily, in fact all of the characters come to life as you accompany them along the very realistic streets of Bay Harbor. It paints a sad picture of human foibles, and I am curious to see where the next book will go. I offer a strong 4 out of 5 stars for this book.
4 out of 5 Stars.