Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Harbormaster's Daughter by Heidi Jon Schmidt

From Amazon - The story of a mother and daughter in an idyllic Cape Cod town...

On a freezing January night, LaRee Farnham answers a knock at her door to find a policewoman holding three-year-old Vita Gray, whose mother has just been murdered a few miles away. LaRee raises Vita with fierce love and attention, at the same time trying to shield her from the aftermath of the murder, which has deeply divided the histoiric village of Oyster Creek.

Born out of wedlock, Vita is the product of the town's two very different cultures: the hard-working fishing families of Portuguese descent and the "washashores" from the mainland, who've drifted to the coast for its beauty. At sixteen, Vita is shy and isolated, estranged from her father, and bullied at school, but she is determined to come out of herself, step-by-step.

When the shocking details of her past surface suddenly, Vita feels utterly betrayed by those closest to her, and the fraught tension between Oyster Creek's two cultures comes to a head. LaRee must ask hard questions about herself as a mother, while Vita turns to unexpected avenues to find meaning and discovers that the truth is almost never found in black-and-white...

The Harbormaster's Daughter is based loosely on a true story.  However, it's a page-turning read that will keep you thoroughly riveted.

I really felt bad for Vita, a girl who's mother is murdered and a father who didn't want her.  She's treated differently by her peers and only really finds solace in the theatre, where she can play someone else. What transpired between Franco and Sabine, Vita's parents, isn't initially known to her, but it's revealed over time. 

I also liked the character of LaRee, who ends up raising Vita.  She has such a fresh outlook on life and tries her best by Vita.  Overall, it's an enjoyable read with a coming of age story accented by mystery and relationships and a small town.  The first novel I have read by this author, although not the last, as Schmidt has a knack for drawing the reader into the world she as written that won't let go until the final chapter.   Don't miss this page-turner!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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