Friday, April 15, 2011

The Silver Boat by Luanne Rice

I had never read one of Luanne Rice's books, although she's had twenty-two New York Times bestsellers. Do you know why I reserved The Silver Boat? It's a Pamela Dorman Book. In describing Dorman's imprint, Penguin Group (USA)'s site says, "The imprint will focus on books of the kind Dorman has published throughout her career: fiction, especially debut fiction that is both well-written and accessible, novels of character that are propelled by strong storytelling and a rich emotional core." Beth Hoffman's Saving CeeCee Honeycutt was one of Dorman's first books when she returned to Penguin. And, I'll admit, I read for character. So, I picked up The Silver Boat, and had a hard time putting it down.

Dar McCarthy, the oldest of the three McCarthy sisters, never left Martha's Vineyard, their childhood home. But, when their mother died, her sisters Rory and Delia returned to help Dar pack it up, knowing they would be forced to sell. Only Dar, the artist and dreamer in the family, held out any hope they could save the house from taxes and a new owner. But, her dreams were based on her father's stories of Ireland, and a land grant that the McCarthy family received. Before he sailed away toward Ireland when Dar was twelve, she had walked the land with him, searching for the evidence of land ownership. But as much as he loved his wife and daughters, Michael McCarthy wanted to prove his worth. The master carpenter built a boat, and sailed across the Atlantic, arriving in Ireland to search for his birthright, then disappeared.

Although Michael's wife and daughters all missed him, it was Dar who was haunted by his loss. Her graphic novels were vivid stories of her alter ego, a ghost named Dulse whose father had disappeared. It was Dar who convinced her sisters to go with her to Ireland, in search of Michael McCarthy's story. That search would uncover truths that would change all three of the sisters.

Rice's characters are interesting, including the sisters' childhood friends, Andy and Harrison. I was fascinated, though, with Dar. If you fall in love with Dar, you'll love Luanne Rice's The Silver Boat. It's a story of faith, and love, friendship, sisters, change, and loss. It's the story of two islands, and the people who loved them. But, in the end, it's the story of Dar, the kind of spirit that never forgets.

Luanne Rice's website is

The Silver Boat by Luanne Rice. Penguin Group (USA).  ©2011. ISBN 9780670022502 (hardcover), 304p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book.


Kay said...

I have a copy of this one packed away to read in the fall. I'm excited about it. I've read maybe one other Luanne Rice book. Can't recall which. This one sounds lovely.

Lesa said...

I really liked Dar, Kay, so I enjoyed the book. Hope you do, too, when you get around to it.

Pamela Keener said...

I know I have read "Follow The Stars Home" and perhaps a few others. Thanks for the review.
If you don't mind me asking who is
Pamela Dorman or is that straw sticking out of my hat for not knowing *wink*
Love & Hugs,

Lesa said...

No, Pam. That straw isn't sticing out of your hat. She's a well-known editor with her own imprint at Penguin, which means she acquires books she likes and squires them through the editing & publishing process. And, since she likes to do books with strong characters, I'm a fan. I read for character.

Ingrid King said...

I've read and loved all of Luanne Rice's books, and I'm looking forward to this one. Thanks for the great review, Lesa!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Ingrid. Then, you're way ahead of me since you've read all of Luanne Rice's books. I think my mom & sisters will like this one.

Tina said...

You rang some bells with this review...I can't say I've never read Luanne Rice, but my memory is of not wanting to spend too much time on others. However, I too really read for characters and your review has convinced me it's probably time to give this author another look.

Lesa said...

I hope you enjoy it, Tina, as much as I did. Maybe the other books you read just didn't fit your mood at the time.

Kris said...

I haven't read anything by this author yet either, but this one sounds really good. Thanks for a great review.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Kris. As I said, this was my first one by her, but I was sucked in immediately.