Monday, September 16, 2013

Ashes on the Waves

Book: Ashes on the Waves
Author: Mary Lindsey

Review: 'Ashes on the Waves' is based on the poem 'Annabelle Lee' by Edgar Allen Poe.  Liam is a 20-year old living in Dochas, a remote island off the coast of Maine. Although the year is 2013 (perhaps 2012?) Dochas seems like the middle ages. No cell towers, one working phone in town, girls can be married off at age 14, men get away with murdering their wives (there is no law on the island), people form lynch mobs at times and there isn't a school for the one child that lives there. Ah-least I forget everyone believes in Celtic creatures and lore. They believe Liam killed his mother at birth and that he is part demon. He's had a tough life living in this backwards place to say the least. 

Liam is in love with Ana, who vacationed on the island as a child. Although he hasn't seen her in over 10 years, he reads gossip magazines to keep up with her life. She is now a socialite (think Paris Hilton or Nicole Richie, pre-marriage/babies) who has embarrassed her family one too many times. She is sent to the island as punishment and is not allowed to attend her brother's wedding.  Liam and Ana form an instant love connection that happens so fast you just have to go with it. But the caretaker at Ana's estate is trying to do everything in her power to keep them apart and mystical powers are using the two young lovers as pawns in a game of power. Add the crazy villagers in the mix and these two are up against several forces. 

This book is beautifully written and Lindsey does a wonderful job making Dochas come to life. It is inconceivable that places still exist in this world (they do-I had the pleasure of listening to Mary Lindsey talk about writing this book and she wrote it on one of these islands off the Maine coast) but it was interesting and a departure from other books. Ana felt like a very real character to me. Liam on the other hand, I understand what the author was going for but his old fashioned speech (which bordered on feminine on many occasions) lulled me to sleep. He was also so beat down and victimized by the people in town he was borderline pathetic. There were several occasions where Ana would reference something modern and he wouldn't know what she was talking about-I kept thinking that if he had been reading all those gossip magazines to keep tabs on her (let's face it-it's creepy that he was in love with this person he played with as a child, but she was one of his few good memories so I'll give him some slack) he should have known or read some of the saying. Minor complaint but I thought it several times as I was reading. 

Overall, great backdrop with a haunting story. You know how it will end before the book starts and I love that the author stayed true to the poem. Good book. The author said her goal by writing this is to try to get more people to read Poe and I am happy to say I will go out and do so! I'm inspired!

Grade: 3/5

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