25 November 2010

The Outer Banks House

The Outer Banks House by Diann Ducharme came to me via Crown Publishers, a division of Random House. As the name suggests, the setting is the Outer Banks of North Carolina. And the book is filled with the richness of North Carolina history and scenery. Taking place just after the Civil War, the tensions of the post-war South also play a significant role in the development of the book.

Abigail Sinclair, her parents, and her siblings come to the North Carolina shore with Abigail looking toward her marriage in the near future while her father is hoping to escape a plantation that is faltering with the loss of slave labor. The family quickly, if reluctantly, joins in the rythms of the island. Abby is introduced to the island by Ben who is a young man with deep ties to North Carolina life and history. Abby teaches Ben to read and their temperments clash until Abby realized that Ben has much to teach her as well. While she becomes more involved in the lives of ex-slaves living nearby, Abby's father becomes involved in local attempts to put the ex-slaves back in their place.

Of course, Abby and Ben fall in love, struggle, come apart, and come back together. It is actually this part of the book with which I have the most trouble. Perhaps the book follows the tried and true method of plot build up, conflict, and resolution ~ but I just did not find it to be real. Maybe as someone who lives in the South, I did not like the racial undertones of the conflict for Abby and her family. So I enjoyed the book for the descriptive narrative, but not the human interactions.

TITLE: The Outer Banks House
AUTHOR: Diann Ducharme
PAGES: 291
TYPE: fiction
RECOMMEND: I did not particularly care for this book. I appreciated what the author was trying to accomplish, but it just did not feel true for me. However, the descriptions of the North Carolina shores were beautiful.

1 comment:

jewelknits said...

What a lovely cover. I think that it is difficult to write realistically of former racial tensions and how people actually struggled with their perceptions of each other from the remove of modern times. Thanks for the review!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries