On a freezing January night, LaRee Farnham answers a knock at her door to find a policewoman holding three-year-old Vita Gray, whose mother has just been murdered a few miles away. Read more...
On a freezing January night, LaRee Farnham answers a knock at her door to find a policewoman holding three-year-old Vita Gray, whose mother has just been murdered a few miles away. LaRee raises Vita with fierce love and attention, at the same time trying to shield her from the aftermath of the murder, which has deeply divided the histoiric village of Oyster Creek.
Born out of wedlock, Vita is the product of the town's two very different cultures: the hard-working fishing families of Portuguese descent and the -washashores- from the mainland, who've drifted to the coast for its beauty. At sixteen, Vita is shy and isolated, estranged from her father, and bullied at school, but she is determined to come out of herself, step-by-step.
When the shocking details of her past surface suddenly, Vita feels utterly betrayed by those closest to her, and the fraught tension between Oyster Creek's two cultures comes to a head. LaRee must ask hard questions about herself as a mother, while Vita turns to unexpected avenues to find meaning and discovers that the truth is almost never found in black-and-white...
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-06-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Schmidt (The House on Oyster Creek) returns to Cape Cod to examine the turbulent times of Franco, the bitter 47-year-old assistant harbormaster who is part of the insular Portuguese community that exists in constant tension with the wealthy summer tourists. A brief affair with a tourist named Sabine results in an unexpected pregnancy and trouble for Franco. But things get worse when, four years later, Sabine is murdered, making Franco, a married man, the primary suspect. Their three-year-old daughter, Vita, who knows nothing of her real father, goes to live with Sabine’s friend in a small town, where she grows up and is sheltered from the news of her mother’s real killer being found. But when the killer commits suicide in jail, she’s forced to confront both her past and her present, finding support with a local gang of misfits in a local theater company. Schmidt paints a colorful picture of the Massachusetts Cape and its people. She understands the struggles of adolescence and compounds them skillfully with the stifling nature of smalltown life. However, the central relationship—between Vita and Franco—isn’t given much attention, resulting in a story that feels at times without a center. Agent: Jennifer Carlson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Aug.)