Thursday, June 28, 2012

Speed Date with Ava: SEA CHANGE by Karen White

Thursday is Speed Date Night. What's a Book Speed Date? It's a quickie review--about 150 words or so--of any genre book. If you want to join in the speed dating fun, sign up in the Linky below. The speed date is all about "meeting" new books.

Fiction
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.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble 

15 comments:

  1. This isn't my normal kind of read. But like you said, its nice to cleanse the palate sometimes. I do love a story set in south!

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    1. Southern stories--there's just something about them, you know?

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  2. I can't decide if I'd like this book or not. It's intriguing. Have you read anything by Dorothea Benton Frank? I've seen her books at the library and have wondered about them.

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    1. It's definitely not for everyone. I like Dorthea Benton Frank--a little drama-ish but she loves the South and sets her books there.

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  3. Well, this book doesn't sound like what I usually read but I like how you deemed it a nice palate cleanser - sometimes we do need that - just wondering if it's a sad book? because I've read way too many sad books lately :(
    I'm putting it on the wish list, still :D

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    1. It's a little sad, mostly because Ava's so down on herself and her marriage. Not really a cry book, per se.

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  4. This definitely looks like a good read. The setting sounds absolutely gorgeous. I'm glad you enjoyed this one Mary! Great speed date!

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    1. The setting was definitely my favorite part!

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  5. A palate cleanser! I could use one of those right now:) It's nice to read a book that is just enjoyable without causing too much emotional stress, and that just has you ready to pick up the next book and tackle whatever comes with it once you finish reading. Also, I want to be at that beach on the cover, I'm in dire need of a vacation:)

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    1. I know--that beach is really appealing, right? I haven't been to the island in this book but the East coast is really pretty.

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  6. Ava might be my twin!!! Since I've often told I'm too soft spoken. LOL

    I love a good palate cleanser. I'm always on the hunt for them when I need a little pick me up. Glad to know this is one.

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  7. This sounds pretty good and I really like Picoult so I think this would be up my alley! I hadn't heard of it before. I'll keep it in mind when I need a palate cleanser myself >.<

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    1. Definitely reminded me of Picoult--think you'll like this one!

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  8. Just finished it tonight ... great story!

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