Well deserving of its Baileys Women’s prize nomination

The Shore: A Novel - Sara Taylor

This book took me on such an adventurous, unique journey – I truly loved it.  The book is set up with separate chapters depicting characters and time frames, all interrelated to each other, spanning the years from 1876 through 2143.  Yes, that’s right – 2143!!  I almost feel that I should review each and every chapter to give a complete review as each is a story in its own right, some being better than others.  I will say that the first chapters packs such a wallop that I know after reading it, you won’t be able to stop.


First, there’s the Shore, a group of three islands in the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia.  Complete with wild ponies and oyster-shell roads, beautiful beaches and worn-down houses, it’s a fascinating place indeed.  But not half as fascinating as the characters this author has created.  The descendants of Andrew Day and Medora Slater are numerous and their stories are spellbinding.  I often referred to the family tree that’s included at the beginning of the book and was glad that I was reading a hardcover edition rather than an e-book so I could keep referring back to it.  It helped me keep straight who was who.  Though it’s not totally necessary and I didn’t find the book confusing in that regard.  I just liked to see who was descended from whom. 


Ms. Taylor has created such a unique, unforgettable world that, while I don’t often re-read books I’ve already read, I may pick this one up again one day to experience it all over again.  This book has it all – mystery, intrigue, love, heart break, joy and even some black magic.  An author who can start out this strong is certainly one that will bear watching closely.


Highly recommended.


I was given a copy of this book by Blogging for Books in return for an honest review.