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Posted January 29, 2009
For me, Seahorse in the Thames was a completely riveting and thoroughly engrossing novel unlike any I've read this past year. The mystery of the heroine's sister's disappearance is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg in this intense novel. Meissner immediately drew me in to the story with her opening chapter. Her masterfully-crafted pacing and tension kept me reading to the very end. This book was truly hard to put down. I felt like Alexa AKA Lexi was my friend. My heart went out to her because of the struggles she had with her family. I understood her desire for a relationship and clearly saw where the need came from. Also, Lexi's heart for Stephen and the way she saw him intrigued me. In short, I cared about every character in the story. Even the 'bad guys.' Meissner also tucks a wealth of life-changing spiritual material seamlessly into the pages of this novel. In many ways the message she delivers is subtle, yet it rings with such a profound and universal truth that for the believer the lesson goes straight to the heart of the matter. Just like the story of the seahorse found in the Thames, the treasure discovered by the fisherman in the murky, polluted waters of the river, a precious lesson was unearthed during one of the worst times in Lexi's life. I was blown away by the author's insight and amazed by the impact this novel had on my heart. I devoured every page. Words can't adequately express how much this story ministered to me. In fact, I'll stop trying, since I've barely skimmed the surface of what I'd meant to say. On the easier-to-explain craft of writing, I found the characters and their problems to be very realistic. They seemed more like friends than characters in a book. The plot had many unexpected twists and there was nothing cliche or predictable. I loved that about the story. The emotion was genuine, and not once did I feel manipulated by the author. And to top that all off, the setting was so rich I felt like packing up my belongings and heading for the beach! If I were to grade this novel I'd give it an A++. Well done and highly recommended!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 17, 2006
Susan Meissner likes to say her novel, A Seahorse in the Thames, is about the wonder of finding beauty in an unexpected place, and I can¿t think of a better way to describe it. From the first page she gracefully pulled me along on this journey of discovery. I¿d say one of Susan¿s consistent strengths as a novelist is her ability to weave such themes into her stories through well-developed characters and an engaging plot. It¿s one thing to suggest that a person look for beauty in suffering or tragedy. It¿s much more powerful to let a reader stumble and grope her way to beauty with characters like Alexa Poole and her splintered family. Susan¿s characters are familiar¿not in a stereotypical sense, but as though I might have met them before. Or been them before. Susan doesn¿t shy away from the grittiness of life. She faces it with equal parts honesty and hope. Her characters don¿t all live happily ever after, but they do find the pathway to peace and purpose. And the ones who choose to see find beauty where they least expect it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 8, 2006
Author Susan Meissner has done it again. Her writing shines with a gentle brilliance, much like the sparkle of the tiny seahorse that invaded the polluted Thames, offering beauty and hope to the beholder. As always, Meissner¿s characters exude such honesty and vulnerability that it is impossible to remain emotionally detached. In A Seahorse in the Thames, Alexa Poole¿s very heart beats with our own, as she falls in love at the most inopportune of times and with the most unlikely person discovers that her mentally disabled sister is missing is introduced to her three-year-old niece she had not known existed and wrestles with demons of the past that invaded and tore apart her family nearly two decades earlier. When a mysterious seventeen-year-old uncashed check is unearthed, introducing the most bizarre and even dangerous of possible explanations, the many aspects of Alexa¿s life converge to bring her to a point where the present can flow into the future only as the past is finally confronted with truth. A lovely book with an engaging message that will challenge us all to gaze just a little more closely and honestly into the mirror of our own lives¿.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 13, 2006
This is a fast moving story, thoroughly entertaining and mesmerizing. I read it in one sitting, stopping only long enough to make dinner. Not your typical love story, Susan Meissner sweeps her readers away on a journey, beginning with the first paragraph: 'Stephen's wounded body lies just inches from me ... I look at him lying there, an injured man I barely know, and all I can think is, 'So this is what it is like to fall in love'.' It's a saga of coping and broken relationships, and not once did I think, 'No way.' The coping mechanisms for the members of this family were all different and not contrived at all. Alexa, who wants to be needed, coped by doing, Priscilla by running away and their mother by breeding pugs and ignoring the problem. Meissner's unconstrained writing style turned off my 'inner editor' from page one until I closed the book. I found the ending just right. Satisfying but fitting, she avoids tying it all up in a neat little bow of predictability. I enjoyed A Seahorse in the Thames so much I ordered another of Meissner's books which I will begin tonight. A Seahorse in the Thames receives this reviewer's high recommendation for a great read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.