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416 pages, paperback
Available now (June 2012)
Publisher: NAL Trade
Review copy provided by publisher
For Ava Whalen, a new marriage and a move to St. Simons Island means a new beginning. But what she doesn’t realize is that her marriage will take her on an unexpected journey into the deep recesses of her past that will transform her forever…
For as long as she can remember, Ava Whalen has struggled with a sense of not belonging, and now, at thirty-five, she still feels stymied by her family. Then she meets child psychologist Matthew Frazier, and thinks her days of loneliness are behind her. After a whirlwind romance, they impulsively elope, and Ava moves to Matthew’s ancestral home on St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia.
But after the initial excitement, Ava is surprised to discover that true happiness continues to elude her. There is much she doesn’t know about Matthew, including the mysterious circumstances surrounding his first wife’s death. And her new home seems to hold as many mysteries and secrets as her new husband. Feeling adrift, Ava throws herself into uncovering Matthew’s family history and that of the island, not realizing that she has a connection of her own to this place—or that her obsession with the past could very well destroy her future.
I needed a good palate cleanser, and SEA CHANGE worked beautifully for this. A sucker for any book set in the South especially one with as lush a setting as St. Simons Island in Georgia, I enjoyed exploring the gorgeous island and its secrets via this story. Karen White’s writing transports readers, plunging them in a world filled with salt-tinged ocean breezes; long, crushed oyster shell driveways leading to hundred-year-old houses; old rivalries and new friendships; and tall glasses of sweet tea.
Ava is not a typical heroine, at least not like the type I usually read. She’s soft-spoken and shy, afraid of the water, doubting of herself, and someone who might very well blend into the wallpaper, if those around her would let her do so. But she’s also dogmatic and determined to discover the mysteries that haunt her. Sharing time with Ava is Pamela. Set in the 1800s, Pamela’s story takes on an eerie parallel to Ava’s and serves to deepen the mystery.
If you like Jodi Picoult, Dorthea Benton Frank, and Mary Alice Monroe or want a story that surrounds you with the soft, warm breezes of a beautiful Southern island and a tangled mystery, I definitely recommend SEA CHANGE.
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