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Posted August 11, 2013
Macy Allen lost her husband Nash and her unborn child the same day due to an unfortunate incident involving a mare in labor. Macy, a woman with a complicated past and tragic family history, who never thought she deserved the love of the husband she got, suddenly became a young widow whom everyone pitied but didn’t know quite how to approach. She found solace from her grieving in her love for horses, which she took to horse shows and riding events.
Magda, Macy’s mother-in-law, blamed Macy for Nash’s death. Jack, on the other hand, took a conciliatory approach and moved from Wisconsin to Vancouver Island, where Macy lived, to live closer to his son’s memories and in the process try to understand the man his son had become after he left his parents’ home. Once Jack arrived on Vancouver Island, he became enamored with the fierce beauty of the place, while Magda remained at their home in Wisconsin. It’s living apart and hardly talking on the phone that they both realized that Nash was the only element keeping them together.
Meanwhile, a big surprise showed up one night in the form of a child supposedly fathered by Nash while married to Macy. Jack was elated to discover a missing connection to his lost son. Macy however grappled with the revelation and the realization that she hardly knew her husband and he was no longer there to face the fallout of his betrayal. Together Macy and Jack finally realized that keeping the child was fundamental in their embracing a hopeful future.
Miracle Beach by Erin Celello is a story about grief, from a widow perspective and that of parents, but is also about relationships--marriage or friendship. It makes us wonder how well we really know someone close to us, and how sometimes people get comfortable in a relationship and forget to be themselves, forget their own dreams, cease to exist as individuals.
In Miracle Beach from tragedy comes unexpected self knowledge and blessings, for Nash left a child behind who filled the void tragedy had carved in these characters lives; thus from the bad light emerged.
I don’t think that Celello was successful at portraying Nash; he failed to emerge from the pages as he was supposed to considering all the memories his widow and his parents shared with the reader. Celello also wasn’t successful in making us care that much for all the other characters. She was however, excellent at fleshing out Macy’s love for horses and her knowledge of them; I thought that was a fascinating element in the book. Celello also excelled at making Vancouver Island come alive in all its beauty and intensity.
In summary, Miracle Beach by Erin Celello is more a study on relationships than it is on grief, but despite missing that mark the book manages to capture the readers’ attention in other fronts.
Posted April 5, 2012
Posted August 9, 2011
Erin Celello's debut novel has a compelling plot, and her characters seem like real people, who - just when you think you've figured them out - surprise you by revealing new sides of themselves. As a rider, I loved how the novel features horses and show jumping, including scenes of horse care, training, and horse shows. Horses aren't the main focal point: relationships are, and how relationships can be shattered by tragic events, and reshaped. As a woman, I appreciate how the book portrays two women of different ages coping with losses and disappointments, and and how they find their ways to new understandings. The book's settings - Vancouver Island, Canada, and Green Bay, Wisconsin - are sharply and memorably drawn. The author uses language so deftly that I often found myself backing up in the text to savor a phrase again. Definitely worth reading!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 2, 2011
Erin Celello's unabashedly honest debut about the nature of grief releases on August 2, 2011. After Nash dies in a tragic accident, his wife Macy faces life alone. She finds an odd comfort in the presence of Gounda, a foal who recently lost his mother. Riding and tack cleaning seem to be her only solace. Nash's father, Jack, moves to Vancouver to be with Macy and try to sort out his relationship with his lost son. Self-centered Magda, Nash's mother, blames Macy for her son's death and stays behind. The appearance of an unexpected child on Macy's doorstep changes their perspectives and lives. The beauty of Vancouver Island is a backdrop for the ramifications of grief. Jack's emotional journey to understand his son and come to terms with his death is especially touching. Magda is well written as a self-focused, selfish woman. The author's expert equestrian knowledge is woven throughout the book. Sadness and loss pervade the novel. Hats off to Erin Celello for writing from the heart about loss and the steep climb back to life. Goodreads supplied the review copy through their First Reads Giveaway program. Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 7, 2011
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