Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Edge of Winter

My daughter, Shilo, gave me The Edge of Winter by Luanne Rice for Christmas and it fits in nicely with the weather event portion of the What's In A Name Challenge , so I've decided to replace my first pick, Fog Magic, with this one. (I may still get to Fog Magic, also.)
The first paragraph of this book seemed promising:
'The day the world ended started out crystal clear, the sky so heart-stoppingly blue, it seemed it might crack. Although it was near the end of February, and freezing cold, Mickey and Jenna rode their bikes down the windswept road toward the barrier beach. They did this all spring, summer, and fall, but this was their first bike outing since the winter snows had receded.'

Reading this, I could feel the cold ocean air on my face, see the windswept beach spread before me, and was alive with the anticipation of seeing the Snowy Owl that the two friends were in search of. I have read quite a few of Luanne Rice's other books and have to say that when I finished this particular one, it did not go on my favorites list. It is not a bad book at all, just a bit slow and many of the characters seem to be a bit flat for me. At one point, I even had to back track to remind myself who Chris was. Turns out she was Neve's best freind. Neve is a single mother, divorced for a couple of years, who is in court fighting her deadbeat ex for the child support her owes her and Mickey. On Neve's small salary at the local art gallery, she cannot suffeciently support Mickey and herself. As you see from the first paragraph, Mickey and her best friend Jenna are on their way to Refuge beach after hearing about a Snowy Owl that has been spotted on this beach. The girls have been bird watchers their entire lives, are now 16 and Jenna is slowly turning to the crowds of popular high school kids activities while Mickey still wants to spend her time on the beach. Leaving the owl that afternoon, the girls see surfer boy Shane West preparing to destroy some heavy equipment that is sitting on the beach waiting to remove the sunken German U-boat and the watery grave of 55 German soldiers that is right off shore. The U-boat is a part of the communities history and many people, Mickey included, feel strongly that it should be left untouched. Mickey joins Shane in his quest to convince the rest of the community and state to leave the U-boat where it is, and a delightful young romance begins. Mickey and Shane also help rescue the Snowy Owl after a rich punk (son of the wealty man trying to turn the U-boat into a museum) strikes the owl with a piece of driftwood at a beach party. Both kids and Mickey's mom, Neve form a friendship with the park ranger for this stretch of beach, Tim O'Casey, who has demons of his own to overcome. Tim's father, Joe O'Casey, at the age of just 24, was the captain of the boat who sunk the German Submarine. He is very much a legend in the area and also the local expert on saving injured raptors.
Like I said, the book was a bit slow and some of the charachters were a bit flat, leaving you wanting just a bit more information about them, but the last few chapters, where the author really dealt with the emotions of raising the sunken submarine and the effect this had on the families and the soldiers involved, were quite powerful and very well written. This book would make a good fill-in or beach read, when you don't want something to deep but do want something with a bit of emotion.
Happy Reading!


Blogger Mary said...


Thanks for the review. It does sound as if the book is worth reading. I enjoy some authors more than others and some of those authors that I truly love don't always give a powerful reading everytime.

6:54 AM  

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