Today’s featured book is an ARC from Amazon Vine, called The Shore, by Sara Taylor.
Intro: (1995 – Target Practice)
When news of the murder breaks I’m in Matthew’s, buying chicken necks so my little sister Renee and I can go crabbing. There isn’t much in the way of food in the house, but we found a dollar and sixty-three cents in change, and decided free crabs would get us the most food for that money. Usually we use bacon rinds for bait, but we’ve eaten those already.
I’m squatting down looking at the boxes of cupcakes on a bottom shelf when a woman steps over me to get to the register. Matthew’s is small and the shelves are crowded in; when Mama brought us with her to get food Renee and me would have contests to see who could get from the front door to the grimy meat counter at the back in the fewest hops—I could do it in seven. She’s a big fat woman, with more of an equator than a waist; she steps heavy, all of her trembling as she does, and for a moment I’m worried she’s going to fall and squish me….
Teaser: It’s a little house, our house, one room downstairs and two rooms upstairs and a porch for each, and according to the phone company and the electric company and the taxman it doesn’t exist. (p 4)
The Shore: a group of small islands in the Chesapeake Bay, just off the coast of Virginia. The Shore is clumps of evergreens, wild ponies, oyster-shell roads, tumble-down houses, unwanted pregnancies, murder, and dark magic in the marshes. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it’s a place that generations of families both wealthy and destitute have inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a half-Shawnee Indian’s bold choice to escape an abusive home only to find herself with a man who will one day try to kill her, to a brave young girl’s determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, the characters in this remarkable novel have deep connections to the land, and a resilience that only the place they call home could create.
Through a series of interconnecting narratives that recalls the work of David Mitchell and Jennifer Egan, Sara Taylor brings to life the small miracles and miseries of a community of outsiders, and the bonds of blood and fate that connect them all.
Spanning over a century, dreamlike and yet impossibly real, profound and playful, THE SHORE is a breathtakingly ambitious and accomplished work of fiction by a young writer of remarkable promise.
Does it resonate with you? Would you keep reading? I hope you’ll stop by and share your own excerpts.