Sunday, April 25, 2021

Margreete's Harbor: A Novel by Eleanor Morse ~ My Thoughts #MargreetesHarbor #NetGalley

Margreete's Harbor: A Novel by Eleanor Morse
Small Town & Rural Fiction, 374 pages
Published April 20th 2021 by St. Martin's Press

A literary novel set on the coast of Maine during the 1960s, tracing the life of a family and its matriarch as they negotiate sharing a home.

Margreete’s Harbor begins with a fire: a fiercely-independent, thrice-widowed woman living on her own in a rambling house near the Maine coast forgets a hot pan on the stovetop, and nearly burns her place down.

When Margreete Bright calls her daughter Liddie to confess, Liddie realizes that her mother can no longer live alone. She, her husband Harry, and their children Eva and Bernie move from a settled life in Michigan across the country to Margreete’s isolated home, and begin a new life.

Margreete’s Harbor tells the story of ten years in the history of a family: a novel of small moments, intimate betrayals, arrivals and disappearances that coincide with America during the late 1950s through the turbulent 1960s. Liddie, a professional cellist, struggles to find space for her music in a marriage that increasingly confines her; Harry’s critical approach to the growing war in Vietnam endangers his new position as a high school history teacher; Bernie and Eva begin to find their own identities as young adults; and Margreete slowly descends into a private world of memories, even as she comes to find a larger purpose in them. 

My thoughts about Margreete's Harbor ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—"The floorboards muttered as Margreete walked barefoot down the hallway to the stairs."

I am a cover lover and this cover really caught my eye. I just love it. I was looking forward to the story inside. I wanted to love it as well. I'm sorry to say that the story just didn't live up to my expectations after fantasizing where the cover was going take me. 

Don't get me wrong, this was a great story set in an interesting time in our history, 1955-1968. I loved reliving those times with the cast of characters, reliving the highlights of those decades, all while seeing what the everyday people also went through at the time. 

I think the flaw for me with this story was that I never really connected with the characters—I didn't fall in love with them—so at times it was hard for me to care what they were going through. Because of that, sometimes the story felt a little draggy for me. 

Because this is such an interesting story with a lot of character drama, it could be the perfect fit for some people, it just didn't do it for me. 

I received an ARC of Margreete's Harbor and this is my honest opinion.

About the author

Eleanor Morse is the author of Margreete's Harbor, the most recent of four novels. White Dog Fell from the Sky was a Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week; An Unexpected Forest won the 2008 Independent Book Publisher's Award for best regional fiction and the 2008 Maine Literary Award. She is on the faculty of Spalding University's School of Creative and Professional Writing and lives on a small island off the coast of Maine. 

Connect with Eleanor

Website | Goodreads | Amazon


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