Silver Bay, Jojo Moyes
Published August 26th 2014 by Penguin Books
Paperback, 338 pages
Source: e-ARC from NetGalley
Liza McCullen will never fully escape her past. But the unspoiled beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves—if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah. That is, until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt’s hotel.
The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and distracting eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbors her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love—never deserve to love—again.
For his part, Mike Dormer is expecting just another business deal—an easy job kick-starting a resort in a small seaside town ripe for development. But he finds that he doesn’t quite know what to make of the eccentric inhabitants of the ramshackle Silver Bay Hotel, especially not enigmatic Liza McCullen, and their claim to the surrounding waters.
As the development begins to take on a momentum of its own, Mike’s and Liza’s worlds collide in this hugely affecting and irresistible tale full of Jojo Moyes’s signature humor and generosity.
I love how different Jojo Moyes books all are! If you loved Me Before You (which I completely did!), you should not expect every book to be similar. The Girl You Left Behind and One Plus One were both totally different as well. In Silver Bay our action moves from London to a tiny coastal town in Australia. Mike is a businessman trying to sell a group of investors on a posh resort in Silver Bay. He arrives, without fanfare, to check out the town and the services available -such as they are. Kate is a native of Silver Bay in her seventies. She runs the down-on-its-luck hotel that Mike checks into. Kate lives with her niece Liza and her great niece, 11 year-old Hannah. The scene around Silver Bay includes a mix of boat pilots and guides to take tourists out on the water looking for dolphins and whales. The dolphins and whales themselves were definitely scene stealing characters as well. As Mike starts to fall for Silver Bay and the inhabitants the reader falls as well. It was a bit of a slow start for me, but in the end I was totally on edge waiting to see how the hotel development would play out.
We change perspective frequently and I love getting a story from all sides. This was particularly helpful in Silver Bay as this was a book full of secrets. Mike has secrets about why he is in Australia, Liza and Hannah have secrets about why they cannot leave Australia and even Kate has secrets of long-ago love affairs. The secrets were making me crazy! Of course the secrets have to come out in the end. Maybe I started to predict some of the answers but that did not take away from my enjoyment of this book at all. I certainly did not predict all of the directions the story would take though. Moyes gives so much life to her characters both the starring and minor roles that in each book I feel totally drawn into the story and anxious for the outcome.
Would it be a Jojo Moyes book if I wasn’t teary at some point? I don’t know because she’s four for four in making me cry while reading. I love Jojo even more because when I tweeted that she had me in tears she told me to just keep reading and all would be well. How sweet is that?
Thank you Penguin Books and NetGalley for this advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion.