May 29, 2014

Latest Read: Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes

Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes
Publication date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Books
Category: Adult - Contemporary Literature
Source: Received via Netgalley from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: When Mike Dormer heads out from London to a small town in Australia to kick-start a hotel development, he expects just another deal. But Silver Bay and the inhabitants of the eccentric Silver Bay Hotel - the enigmatic skipper Liza McCullen, her ten-year-old daughter, and her legendary shark-catching aunt Kathleen, as well as the crews of the local whale-watching boats - swiftly begin to temper his own shark-like tendencies. He is left wondering who really has the greater right to the bay's waters. As the development begins to take momentum and the effect on the whales that migrate past the bay begins to reveal itself, Mike's and Liza's worlds collide, with dramatic results. New, unforeseen hazards emerge to confront both the creatures and the McCullen women. How close can you get, before you end up destroying what you love? (Adapted goodreads.com)

The good
I read my first Jojo Moyes book at the very beginning of last year. (You may remember me gushing about and recommending Me Before You!) It took me a long time to read a second book from her backlist because of how much I loved Me Before You. But again, The Girl You Left Behind reeled me in and now with Silver Bay under my belt, I can safely say that I want to get my hands on every Jojo Moyes book out there. Her stories are always filled with complicated, flawed characters who manage to worm themselves into my heart. Even when I can’t necessarily relate to every situation or every decision they make, I understand and I sympathize. Life is messy and her books perfectly depict that.

Mike Dormer is living a very comfortable life. Engaged, working for his fiancĂ©’s father, good at what he does. He’s not necessarily passionate about any of these things but it’s his life. Then he gets sent to a remote seaside town in Australia called Silver Bay to head up a hotel development project and the people he encounters pretty much turn his world upside down. He stays at a family-established, somewhat-rundown hotel that is owned by the McCullen women. There’s Kathleen who’s been living and running the hotel her whole life and is “famous” for catching a shark when she was 17. (If that isn’t a hint to how feisty and formidable this old lady is, I’m telling you now - she is and I loved her!) Then there’s her niece Liza, a beautiful but secretive woman and her ten-year-old daughter Hannah who is so smart and thoughtful. Mike is supposed to scope out the town, without anyone’s knowledge, but as he spends time with the townspeople and more importantly, the McCullen women, he ends up learning about so much more. About whales, dolphins, the environment and the history of Silver Bay.

Silver Bay is told from multiple point-of-views: Mike, Kathleen, Liza, Hannah and even a family friend / boatsman named Greg gets a few chapters. I thought it was all weaved together really well and gave us insight into each character. Even the chapters with Greg, who I did not like, showed us that you can’t take every person at face value. They each have secrets, hopes, and flaws. I think for me, what I loved the most is that it’s not a straightforward story. It’s not just about a guy whose life gets mixed up. It’s about relationships, family, love, life, the environment/wildlife, taking a stand and letting go of the past.

No Reservations
I don’t really have any reservations but I do think I could’ve done with Greg or Mike’s fiancĂ©. I mean, they each play a role in moving the plot along or causing conflict but I just didn’t like them.

Do I recommend?
Yes! If you’re already a Jojo Moyes fan, you won’t be disappointed. And if you haven’t read any of her books, you need to fix that.

Happy reading!

2 comments:

  1. Can you believe I've still only read the one Jojo Moyes book (Me Before You)? I think I ought to remedy that. It pleases me to learn that you've really enjoyed all her works! I think Silver Bay sounds very intriguing. I love books set in small towns, filled with interesting characters and a definitive history. I can't wait to check this one out (at some point)!

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  2. Silver Bay is very high on my list. After reading MBY, JoJo Moyes became an instant favorite author of mine. Have you read The One Plus One yet? It's officially my favorite of her books (even over Me Before You-- I KNOW!). It's so good. I just want to give the characters a hug and tell them everything will be alright. Aaah! If you can't tell, I highly recommend it. :)

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