Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Review: The Edge of Winter by Luanne Rice

A Sweet, Lyrical, ‘War-Ravaged’ Story

Luanne Rice’s latest novel, The Edge of Winter, was a delight to read. It is not a fast-paced novel filled with mega-action or explosions. There is no big chase scene or hold your breath pivotal moment. What it does have is a slow, steady buildup of plot and an intense look at the lives of numerous scarred characters and how they are intertwined, brought together by old wars, new wars, love, family ties, death, secrets and forgiveness. If you’re patient with this book, you’ll come to know these characters and care for them…and miss them when you’re done.

The Edge of Winter is a journey, rich with details of the land and nature―of snowy owls, windswept beaches and watery graves. It is the story of Mickey and her mom, Neve. A story of sweet, innocent first love and cautious, suspicious second love. Mickey is a teenager with a soft spot for all things wounded, including an injured owl and Shane, a lonely teenaged boy with a passion for surfing. Neve, frustrated with her ‘deadbeat’ ex-husband, is drawn to Tim O’Casey, the ranger from Refuge Beach, where a German submarine had sank off the coast after being bombed in World War II.

When a rich and powerful man decides to raise the submarine and turn it into a museum, Mickey and Shane are spurred on to save the submarine’s resting place and a piece of their history. But there are secrets that haunt the waters. Perhaps, the lost souls don’t want to be raised. In this story, there are many lost souls who need saving, and that may be its only down side. It may be unrealistic to wrap up every character in a ‘happily ever after’ theme, but I know (as an author myself) it is so very tempting.

The Edge of Winter is a tribute to Luanne’s father, a navigator-bombardier who flew in World War II, and to all the men and women fighting wars, then and now, on both sides. The author writes about the far-reaching and ravaging effects of war that carry on for generations. We are shown how forgiveness and understanding can set free even the most crippling guilt. The last few chapters are very emotional and really bring forth the author’s message: “It was war.”

A simple but heartfelt summer read with unforgettable characters, perfect for reading while at the cottage or relaxing on a beach. I gave this novel 4.5 stars mainly because my favorite Luanne Rice novel is still Beach Girls.

~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a freelance journalist, book reviewer and editor. She is also the author of three mystery novels set in Canada, including the bestselling ‘assisted suicide novel’ Whale Song, the high-octane thriller The River and the sizzling psychic suspense Divine Intervention.

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