The Shore by Sara Taylor | Rating: ★★★☆☆
As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
Sara Taylor’s novel The Shore is described as something unique and engaging, featuring shifts in narration and the timeline. While it was an entertaining novel, the flip flopping between it all became a bit too frustrating for me and took away from the novels overall rating – a good chunk of the stories featured in it were wonderful due to Taylor’s writing style but there were a lot of moments where I had to pause and refocus my attention on the novel.
That’s the bad news: it’s not always the easiest to follow and some parts lack something. I can’t explain what, really, but there were moments that just weren’t engaging in the least. It was disappointing to see the way timelines went in and out of with each other that it took me ages to know what was really going on.
Moving through different point of views is always, always a difficult task and The Shore is very frustrating on that front. I couldn’t keep up most of the time because it was all over the place and I think that it could have been situated a little better than it was. It tries time and time again but as the story progresses, it just trips over itself and doesn't click well.
But that doesn’t mean The Shore is a total loss. As I’ve said before, Sara Taylor’s writing is solid. She has a nice flow within it that sometimes gets lost in the narration of it, but it’s still there. And she writes an incredibly fierce cast of woman that are inspiring and just overall wonderfully crafted – there’s nothing like women painted in The Shore.
They are strong, they are the voices we need to hear. It’s because of these wonderful characters that the novel doesn’t go off the deep end; although the frustration I had with certain parts of the novel they kept me reading until the last page. You grow very invested in these characters.
Sara Taylor captures an incredibly raw tone to human emotions and the way that certain situations are handled; she doesn’t shy away from topics and they aren’t sugar coated. It succeeds very much so on that front proving she knows what she is doing and it’s very pleasant.
The location is great, too, and Sara is able to paint us a vivid series of descriptions to make us feel truly there. The Shore is a collection of small islands off the coast of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay and we see it through the eyes of the past and more. She does a solid job creating the different eras for each part and it does make up for the frustration a little bit.
Overall, I would only recommend The Shore if you are incredibly focused and alert. If you are good at keeping up with timelines and changes in narration, you should have no difficulty.
It takes time to get used to The Shore’s styling but it’s still a pretty solid release. There may be a lot I would change with its format, but that doesn’t mean it’s a complete lost cause. I can’t see myself reading it again but I appreciate what it was doing nonetheless.