Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: The Silver Boat

The Silver Boat by Luanne Rice

Publication Date: April 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: Hardcover, 304pp
ISBN-13: 9780670022502

(Received for review from St. Martin's Press)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

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Excerpt from
The Silver Boat
Book Trailer:

Synopsis (Book Jacket):

From the beloved
New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice comes a heartwarming yet heart-wrenching portrait of three far-flung sisters who come home to Martha's Vineyard one last time to say good-bye to the family beach house. Memories of their grandmother; mother; and their Irish father, who sailed away the year Dar, the oldest, turned twelve, rise up and expose the fine cracks in their family myth - especially when a cache of old letters reveal enough truth to send them back to their ancestral homeland.

Transplanted into the unfamiliar, each sister sees life, her heart, and her relationship to home in a new way. But how do they let go of a place that contains the complicated love of their imperfect family?

The novel is a season on Martha's Vineyard, a mission to Ireland; a memorable cast of friends, including one wildly off-the-grid Zen genius; passionate love in the surf; and three very different sisters whose lives are filled with beauty, sorrow, and deep love they'd never been sure they could trust.
The Silver Boat is a novel as timeless as the sea on which it's set, and Luanne Rice at her very best, complete with her singular talent for capturing a family in all its flawed complexity.


Luanne Rice is known for her stories about families and the dynamics they share. In her new book,
The Silver Boat, Rice gives readers a novel that is both happy and sad as three sisters try to come to terms with the death of their mother, the disappearance of their father and the loss of their family beach house. Rice's portrayal of the bonds between sisters is engaging and the element of mystery is present as the girls search for their long-lost father. Readers will find this novel addicting and hard to put down as Rice once again delivers a winner.

The McCarthy sisters: Dar, Delia and Rory converge on the family beach house after the death of their mother. Since they are unable to pay the inheritance taxes and the upkeep on the beach house, their only solution is to sell their childhood haven. But the memories that linger in the house on Martha's Vineyard have never been more present. Each of the these far-flung sisters is facing struggles of their own as they come together one last time to pack up the memento's of their childhood. Dar's has struggled for many years with alcoholism, while Delia is forced to raise her grand-daughter while her son Pete deals with drug addiction. Rory, the youngest is in the middle of a nasty divorce and each woman is seeking some kind of closure. When a cache of old love letters written by their parents set them off on a mission to Ireland to find their father who sailed away on his boat, The Irish Darling and never returned. Will they find the answers they seek and a way to save their home?

Once again Luanne Rice has created a family that readers will love to read about. The McCarthy sisters are as different as night and day, but they are very relatable and believable. Each sister is facing problems of her own, in her own life, a part from that of her sisters. But, they share a common bond and find a new way to relate to each other and home in this novel. Rice does a remarkable job of giving the reader characters that are engaging and that stir the emotions. Rice portrays each sister in such a way that reader will be reminded of someone they know who went through that or perhaps they will see themselves looking back from the pages of this book.

Dar, the oldest sister, probably has the most attachment to the family beach house, Daggett's Way. She is still very attached to the memories of the times she spent with her father in this house before he went away. All three sisters have unresolved issues with the loss of their father and his reasons for leaving them behind, but Dar seems to be the character most effected by this. She turned to alcohol and is now fighting alcoholism. I found her career choice interesting. She writes comic books. I thought Rice choose and interesting and creative job for her and it showed her own struggles as she lets her comic book alter ego solve many of the problems she faces in her real life. A very creative idea.

Delia has problems of her own, with a drug addicted son, who has practically dumped his daughter in her lap to raise. It is not only causing problems between them, but it is spilling over into her relationship with her husband. She is the sort of do-gooder of the family. The one to who tries to right all the wrongs in everyone's lives without thinking of the consequences to her own life. I found her a very compelling character. It shows the sacrifices that families are willing to make for each other. I thought Rice did an excellent job of showing addiction and what it does to families, through both Dar and Delia's situations.

Rory is the youngest and the most emotional in my opinion. She has lived for a long time with a husband who continuously cheats on her. He has left her for a younger woman and she still has feelings for him. So much so, that she spies on him and his new girlfriend and could be accused of stalking. It has always amazed me how some woman can take and take and take this kind of treatment and still love the person who does this kind of thing. Rory is struggling to come to terms with her relationship and what it has done to her. Rice gives the reader a glimpse of what it's like to be co-dependent through this character.

I would recommend this book to readers who love books about family and bonds they share. It is a face paced book and has a dash of mystery about it, where the disappearance of Michael, the girls' father is concerned. I found it hard to put this one down and I think that readers will really fall in love with it. It has both happy and sad parts and I believe that if an author can cause a reader to feel some kind of emotion while reading their work, they have truly succeeded.

The Silver Boat is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Luanne Rice is the author of twenty-nine novels, twenty-two of which have been consecutive New York Times bestsellers.There are more than twenty-two million copies of Luanne Rice's novels in print. She lives in New York City and Old Lyme, Connecticut.

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