Title: The Silver Boat
Author: Luanne Rice
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Dar lives in her family’s home on Martha’s Vineyard, but because of rising taxes and an inability to keep up with the house, she has come to the realization that the house must be sold. Her sisters Delia and Rory have returned to Martha’s Vineyard one last time in order to say goodbye to the house. As they pack up the house and relive the happier times, they must also face the more difficult things: specifically, the years-ago disappearance of their father, Michael, off the coast of Ireland. As they discuss this haunting memory, the women begin to wonder what really happened to their father and if, after all these years, they can discover the truth.
I’ve enjoyed Luanne Rice’s past novels (reviews of Beach Girls, Light of the Moon, and Sandcastles), so when I heard she had a new book coming out from one of my favorite imprints (Pamela Dorman Books), I immediately knew I wanted to read it. Additionally, I had heard it was about sisters, and since that is one of my favorite subjects in women’s fiction, I was really looking forward to this book.
As always, Luanne Rice writes the characters and their relationships incredibly well. Dar is the central character in this story, and she is very well written. She is strong, yet her father is her weakness. As long as she had the house, she had the memory of him surrounding her. But now that she is being forced to leave the house, to sell it to complete strangers who will likely tear the place down, she is having trouble accepting what they have known for years about her father – simply that he disappeared in a boat off the coast of Ireland. The loss of the house reignites that need to know what happened to him.
I also enjoyed the depiction of the bond between sisters in The Silver Boat. Dar, Rory, and Delia are there for each other, at the same time they challenge one another. I really appreciated the complexity with which Rice wrote them. Additionally, the secondary characters are well thought out and very entertaining; I enjoyed getting to know all the people in the book.
The Silver Boat is definitely a character driven book – the plot moves very slowly at times and is generally predictable. It’s not a book to pick up if you’re looking for an exciting, fast-paced read. But if you’re in the mood for a heartwarming and emotional read with engaging characters, this is a great book to pick up.