Title: The Shark Club
Author: Ann Kidd Taylor
A novel about love, loss, and sharks by the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the memoir Traveling with Pomegranates.
On a summer day on the Gulf of Mexico in 1988, two extraordinary things happen to twelve-year-old Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is attacked by a blacktip shark.
Eighteen years later, Maeve is a world-traveling marine biologist studying and swimming with the very animals that once threatened her life. Known among her peers as the “shark whisperer,” Maeve is fearless in the water. On land, however, Maeve is dogged by unresolved wounds and indecisive about the path her life will take. After a particularly inspiring assignment abroad, Maeve returns to the small island off Florida’s coast where she grew up and to her childhood home—the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses, where she was raised by her grandmother. There, she is greeted by troubling news.
An illegal shark-finning operation has moved into town, and hundreds of sharks are dying. As Maeve fights to protect the fate of the animals so dear to her heart, she finds that her twin brother may be about to make it big as a novelist, using her love life as his jumping-off point. Will she confront her feelings about her brother’s betrayal—and forgive her childhood sweetheart, Daniel, the missteps of their youth? Or will she dive headlong back into her work and open her heart to Nicholas, her colleague who shares her passion for the ocean?
Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, blood orange sunsets, calypso bands, and key lime pies, The Shark Club is a love story, an environmental mystery, and an exploration of a woman’s mysterious kinship with the sea and the sharks that inhabit it.
It is a perfect, light, enjoyable read for the summer. I was glad to have the chance to read this book in a similar setting, Florida. Surprisingly, shark fishing was an actual activity choice when we were there. Even though they are not shark-fin fishing, it still made me feel bad for the sharks. So no fishing, just reading on the beach.
Forgiveness and pretend nothing has happened are two different things. If I were Maeve, I would have done the same thing. I like how the story develops and comes together. All the characters are likable. The Hotel of Muses, Perri, and Hazel are as cute as they are can be.
Oh, how I love classic love triangle stories. Should she choose her first love/childhood best friend, or the man with a similar passion. I had no idea whose is Maeve going to choose until the last 2 or 3 chapters, love it. However, the actual ending feels a little rush. If you are looking for a light read, I would recommend this book.
4 out of 5 stars
Received a free temporary e-copy from First to Read in exchange for an honest review.