Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Power of THE SHORE

I like books that are willing to deliver a gut punch. That push the boundaries of storytelling in some way. That "go there" when other books might choose not to. When other authors might choose to shy away. 

I felt like Sara Taylor "went for it" in The Shore in so many ways. 

This book might make a point of pronouncing itself a novel on the cover, but those of us who like short stories will certainly rejoice because each chapter can stand on its own. Put them together and the whole is strengthened. Set on a group of islands off the coast of Virginia, the setting is very much a character. These people are defined by their home...another trope I love.

This is also a book about women. Strong ones. Women who struggle against addiction, abuse, brutality, the wilderness, and at times, their own inclinations and desires. 

Goodreads lays it out a little better than I am...
Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it's a place they've inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a half-Shawnee Indian's bold choice to flee an abusive home only to find herself with a man who will one day try to kill her--to a brave young girl's determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, to a lesson in summoning storm clouds to help end a drought...
There's just so much going for this book. Beautiful writing, a little magical realism thrown into the mix, and a fearlessness in the narrative choices. The first and last chapters were especially impactful, though I know the final one left some people scratching their heads or contemplating why it was included at all. I won't say more than that, but I can assure you that I loved this book from beginning to end. 

Published May 2015
Hogarth
0553417738 
E-book
Bought it myself!

17 comments:

  1. Hm, now you've made me very curious about that last chapter. It sounds like this would be great for book clubs.

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    1. Definitely a great book club book!

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  2. I like books that push the boundaries, too. I don't care for magical realism though. Is there a lot of it?

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    1. No, not a lot. I'd say a handful of chapters...may three out of all of them. :)

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  3. That's it. I'm pulling my copy off the shelves next week. So many people have raved about The Shore, and I feel as if I'm missing out on the joy.

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  4. My favorite book of 2015! I loved it. And I don't love short stories, but I see how most (if not all) could work alone. They're just so much better together. And in an interview I heard with her, she was talking about reading the book in a different order, and my mind was blown all over again. Can't wait to read her next two novels.

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  5. I'm slowly making my way up the hold list... hope I don't have to wait much longer. Great review!

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  6. Someone else in the comments mentioned book club, and now I definitely want to recommend this one to mine. It looks like something that would give us a good deal of discussion.

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  7. Ok, I have to get this one. I've seen it everywhere but passed it by for other reads. I'm always up for some strong ladies!

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  8. So, so good. I'm glad to see someone else didn't hate the last chapter - I think it's one of the most fascinating in the bunch. I totally feel like this is a book I'll pick up over and over again.

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  9. Between the short stories feel and the magical realism... girl, you know I was on cloud nine reading this one!! :)

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  10. This sounds really good! I really like the genre of linked stories, but that seems to be a negative term for some. Will add this title to my list....

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  11. I can't believe I haven't gotten to this yet! I don't love short stories, but I do love books with emotional impact and magical realism, so I think this will work for me :)

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  12. How I loved this book. Disturbing, weird, powerful, bad-ass women, gorgeously written, short stories...to pull it all off was impressive. Definitely one to reread.

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  13. How I loved this book. Disturbing, weird, powerful, bad-ass women, gorgeously written, short stories...to pull it all off was impressive. Definitely one to reread.

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  14. Yup, yup and yup. I don't have anything to add—you summarized it so well!

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  15. This sounds excellent. You've told me almost nothing but made me super eager to read it!

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