Saturday, September 15, 2012

SEA DUST - 5 star review

Sea Dust has all the elements of a gothic romance, but with a maritime setting. The author writes with rich and metaphorical language, creating vivid, spellbinding imagery. The story begins in Whitby, England. It is mid-winter, 1856. Emma gazes out of the attic window where the body of her dead baby girl lies.

"The fishing port, nestled in the valley below, was shrouded in white. Snow covered the docks and wharves, the sand flat - Belle Island, and the hills and open moors beyond. Across the valley, the ruins of the old Benedictine abbey wore a vestal veil. Only the treacherous face of the crumbling East Cliff had escaped the winter mantle." (from Chapter 1)

The descriptions are beautifully evocative, but Emma is no innocent young maiden waiting to be swept off her feet. She is a mature woman, mother of a teenaged boy, about to go off to sea. Her marriage has gone bad and her life is closing in on her. The sea offers tortured Emma her only means of escape from a brutish, violent husband and a bleak life. But the sea is fraught with its own dangers, Emma discovers after she sneaks aboard an outbound ship with the help of a French seaman she is attracted to.

Margaret Muir is quite at home in her nautical setting and she knows how to build suspense. She chillingly portrays the dark side of romance in an era when women were second class citizens at the mercy of men; to be coddled, adored, or scorned and abused as they saw fit. I could relate to Emma's untenable situation and I cheered her on in her quest to be loved and respected while becoming the whole person she was meant to be.

A gritty, unsettling story in the guise of a nineteenth century romantic novel. I highly recommend it.

Review author - Linda Collison
For September, SEA DUST is on sale on Amazon Kindle for $0.99

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