Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Tuesday Book Reviews


Five-star review of The Brighter the Light by Mary Ellen Taylor

We follow a family’s history in two time periods. In the present part of the story, Ivy Neale returns from New York City to the beachfront cottage in North Carolina’s Outer Banks where she grew up with her Grandmother Ruth. Ruth has died and the family’s seaside resort was destroyed by a storm that also uncovered the shipwreck of the Liberty T. Mitchell. The wreck is subject of all sorts of ghostly stories, but none as gripping as the story of what happened at the resort in 1950 when Ruth was twelve years old and working with her adoptive parents to keep the resort going. As we go back and forth between Ruth’s childhood story and Ivy’s current one, secret after secret is revealed. Although some seem contrived, the cast of characters are interesting enough to keep my interest. Ruth is intrigued by the singer, Carlotta, whose showboat is in dry dock for repairs while she’s chosen to sing at the resort. Ivy must face Dani, her former best friend, and Matthew, her ex-boyfriend, that she left behind twelve years ago to become a chef in New York. As Ivy sifts through her grandmother’s hoard of items from the resort, she finds photographs from the summer of 1950. She also leans more about her grandmother and herself, including what she wants to do with the rest of her life. This book is not my usual read, but I liked the mysteries and the characters.  

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