I’m spreading my book reviews around between my site, Substack and Goodreads.
This one I posted on Goodreads since I read the paperback book a couple weeks ago:
I enjoyed reading this story. The dual protagonist structure and short chapters let me dip in and out over the course of maybe a week. Towards the end, I really did want to know what happened to each character. I enjoyed my visceral emotional response at a couple of points in the last quarter.
I’m not a romance reader but I appreciate a realistic portrait of consensual sex which was woven through the contemporary portion of the book. The non-consensual sex was a bit veiled which I imagine is realistic for a child victim’s adult memories. It’s a big, socially destructive topic that I’m pleased to see fiction addressing.
The settings are also a compelling element of the story – I really do have to get to New Zealand! I’m only vaguely familiar with surfer culture, so if there are disparities (are women really accepted as legit wave riders or strictly bikini babes), I don’t know, but it frames this story nicely. More than a beach read, less than literary fiction, if you have the time and like tales of family drama, I recommend it.