Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Split Rock (Book Review)

Title: Split Rock
Author: Holly Hodder Eger
Publication: Trade Paperback, Conzett Verlag, 2016
Genre: Fiction
Plot: After inheriting a home in Martha’s Vineyard from a beloved aunt, Annie Tucker brings her three children to the popular summer destination while her husband is traveling for work in Asia. Lonely and grieving for her aunt, Annie becomes dangerously preoccupied with memories of a teenage romance that ended badly. When the former beau appears in person, Annie wonders if she is being given another chance at love and whether she should make different choices this time.

Audience: Fans of women’s fiction, including authors such as Kristin Hannah and Nancy Thayer
Lambert's Cove, Martha's Vineyard
My Impressions: I enjoyed this story of a seemingly perfect summer on Martha’s Vineyard where the protagonist is suspended in time between her happy adolescence and the sometimes tedious responsibilities of parenting. Eger does a great job at depicting the Island she so obviously loves, and throughout the book I longed to be walking (but not swimming!) down the paths she describes. Martha’s Vineyard is the real star of this book, and I am sure I am not the only reader determined to visit after reading this novel.

Annie is an interesting personality, and is surrounded by other characters as vividly drawn. I especially liked Freddy, the friend she and her children make at the beach, although his Yiddish phrases were a bit over the top and his back story was unnecessarily lurid. Annie’s self-absorption was at times annoying and it would be easy to dismiss her as being privileged and spoiled, dismissive of her practically perfect husband, and perplexingly unable to manage three well behaved children whom she appeared to have coped with perfectly well in Maryland (and if she has never yelled at them before this fateful summer, she must be doing something right). However, I forgave her these all too human flaws (plus, a novel needs fodder) because I was so intrigued by her near drowning experience and the way she reacts to it, and the way in which this episode (eventually) helps her became completely honest with herself and confront her past. And, after all, one can enjoy an imperfect heroine in the abstract but once you start to like her, you want her to face facts and move on.  An enjoyable read!
Aunt Faye?
Source: I bought a copy of this book at a party for the author. I thought she said she was inspired by an incident when her youngest child accidentally called the police, while playing with a telephone, so I was expecting to find that incident in the book. Maybe I missed it or perhaps it will appear in the sequel!

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