I just finished a really riveting book: Sea Change by Karen White!!
It's part romance, part historical fiction (set in the early 1800s) and part contemporary (2011). And a whole lot of mystery and intrigue!
The setting is St Simons Island, Georgia.
The author is new to me although I've seen her other novels in bookstores and at the towne library.
This book kept my attention and kept me up later than is good for me for the last week.
It is a definite page turner!
Ava, recently married to Matthew, a child psychologist whose first wife died , has never totally felt like she has belonged. She's 34 and has felt this way her entire life. She comes from a family with several older brothers who are close to her parents, emotionally and physically. Her husband Matthew owns a home across the state, on St. Simons Island. Coincidentally, her family lived there before moving to Antioch, Georgia when she was very young.
Ava thinks her days of loneliness are over. She and Matthew had a whirlwind romance of just a couple of months, followed by an elopement and now are living in Matthew's ancestral house.
But now that she is happily married and about to begin her midwife job on the island, Ava is discovering that true happiness is still eluding her! She really doesn't know much about her new husband. This includes the mysterious reasons surrounding his first wife's death! Even the house seems to hold mysteries and secrets...........
Ava begins to throw herself into researching Matthew's family history and the history of the island. She doesn't realize that she, herself, has a connection to the island......and that her obsession with the past could very well destroy her future.
Who are Pamela and Georgina? What do their lives, from the early 1800s, have to do with Ava and Matthew's first wife, Adrienne??
Why does Ava feel like she "knows" Pamela....a young wife and mother from 1811??
Is Georgina really evil or just misunderstood??
Will Ava find our the real reason Adrienne died??
Will she find out her connection to the island....and what will happen to her marriage??
just what IS the connection with her and the past? and just who IS Jimmy, the island landscaper who seems so familiar yet so unknown??
Why does Ava fear water and will she overcome that fear??
And will she ever feel like she really belongs??
This was an excellent book. To be "excellent" the book must capture my interest in the first chapter. And it definitely did!! I was hooked.......
I love how the author describes the scenes from 1811.....it seemed like I could actually see the old kitchen house, the old house, and the kudzu vines climbing up the wall. I could "smell" the ocean, the mud, the leaves.......I could totally picture Pamela, her husband and little boy.
I could envision Ava and her fear of the water. I could "feel" her desperation to uncover the truth.
This book is light on the historical fiction and heavy on the supernatural, which I didn't fully like because I don't believe in reincarnation. However, it is woven into the story so well that I didn't realize it was a supernatural thing/reincarnation thing until after the first 2/3's of the book. I thought the connection with the past was going to be something like the 2 families were related or something like that......I don't want to ruin it for you so I won't tell you exactly what happens but the concept of reincarnation IS used. As a Christian, this kind of goes against what I know and believe about God and our souls. However, I DO believe that past circumstances can affect future events..........
According to the notes/discussion guide at the end of the book, this is the first novel the author wrote that involves the supernatural. Because I enjoyed her writing so much, I plan on looking for some of her other books. The titles sound intriguing. Some of the books I would like to check out are: The Color of Light, The Memory of Water, and Pieces of the Heart.
In my opinion, this novel is appropriate for ages 14 and older.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10!