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Posted November 12, 2013
Posted September 5, 2012
Enjoyed it--good summer read
Interesting view from the victim's daughter and friend that brought up the daughter perspectives but unless you are familiar with the story behind it or are not from the area it would be a little hard to understand what is happening. I was left with wanting more to be written but maybe that leaves it open for another book to be written.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 22, 2012
What's it like to be disliked and even bullied for being who you
What's it like to be disliked and even bullied for being who you are?
How does one escape one's association with shame and murder? How well
can someone else substitute for the genuine presence of a mother and
father? These are all very real questions in this story about a young
girl who has absolutely no idea of why she is viewed as so very
different from the other girls in her small seaside town of Oyster Creek
in Massachusetts. All in all, she's sad, angry, and very confused about
it all! For initially, she doesn't know the whole story of how her real
father became so disgruntled with his being passed over for the job of
Harbormaster that he dallies with a woman, Sabine, and rejects her when
she becomes pregnant. That would be terrible enough but when her
daughter, Vita, is very young, Sabine is murdered! Vita is sent to live
with LaRee Farnham and doesn't know about her father for quite a few
years. So continues this story that often rambles through Vita's very
real mental and emotional suffering about her past and her future and
then passes to the exposure of the truth and everyone else's attempt to
make things "normal" again. But life is never that easy, and
Vita is never as comfortable as she is when she's watching theater or
participating in it. Still LaRee is doing the best she can, and Vita is
coming to find her own comfortable identity through this difficult
process. There are also some other issues floating through the book,
one about some snooty villagers who have always lived in this fisherman
community and view all outsiders as "foreigners" and make them
know it in speech and attitude as well. While this may seem an aside,
it quite clearly parallels the experience of Franco and his wife,
Sabine, LaRee, and Vita. It's not as far from our world as one may
think and this book will make you think about your own backyard!
Although there's some choppiness to the plot in certain parts where one
is not sure what's going on, overall this is a fine read, and Heidi Jon
Schmidt knows her topic and characters well. Different but more
powerful for its everyday, ordinary, real qualities! Give it a read!
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 22, 2012
A look at the haves/have-nots blended into a murder mystery
This new book by Heidi Jon Schmidt is a pleasing page-turner that takes place in Oyster Creek, a small town in Massachusetts. This village on Cape Cod is the same spot her first book, The House on Oyster Creek, was set which served as a reminder of the people and their problems in this part of New England. In the beginning of The Harbormaster's Daughter, Franco Neves, the assistant harbormaster is just a little bitter because the previous harbormaster has retired and Franco thought he was next in line for the job. Franco is of Portuguese descent and has lived on the harbor for many years and he was sure that when the harbormaster retired he would automatically get the job. Well, it didn’t work out that way as the powers that be felt that the wealthy summer tourist trade needed a harbormaster who fit the magazine rendition of the job (i.e. handsome, rugged, inclined to pat men on the back and flirt with the women). Franco went on to have a brief affair with Sabine, a tourist, that resulted in an unwanted pregnancy and a lot of trouble for Franco. A few years later Sabine was killed and Franco became suspect number one. Their daughter, Vita, who doesn’t know who her father is, is sent to live with LaRee, a friend of Sabine’s where she grows up without knowing about her past. Then, of course, the past starts to surface when Vita is a teenager and she feels betrayed by her adopted mother and all the friends who knew the secret of her past and never said anything to her. Vita is determined to come into her own and become more independent as the two cultures (Portuguese and the summer tourists) come to a head. The author tries to tell a tale of tragic vs. hopeful, a young girl trying to find her way in the world that was taken from her, and a father and mother who she didn't really know. Then add in a mystery of the child, Vita, trying to find out who killed her mother and why. At times, the plot was so complicated that it was difficult to pin any one thing or person down. Overall, however, it was an enjoyable story and I’m sure there are many people who will like this book, especially the passages about life on Cape Cod. Quill Says: A very considerate and thoughtful story of life on the small Massachusetts Cape and the two cultures that make up the area (the haves and the have-nots).Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.