The Vineyard by Michael Hurley

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The Vineyard by Michael Hurley
Publisher: Ragbagger Press
Genre: Mainstream, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (373 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Dory Delano, Charlotte Harris, and Turner Graham have been drifting through life since their days as roommates at Smith College, ten years ago. Dory is resisting taking the reins of her family’s legacy and fortune even as she relishes the fabulous lifestyle it affords her in the fashionable seaside resort of Martha’s Vineyard. She invites her old friends to join her for a summer on the Vineyard in hopes of rediscovering the innocence of old days and healing new wounds. But hidden in their midst and unknown to all but a few, a reclusive—some say dangerous—fisherman wanders alone, fueling wild speculation about his purpose and his past. None of these women can imagine the events their encounter with the fisherman will set in motion, the shadow he will cast over their destinies, or the transformation that awaits the world they know.

THE VINEYARD is a spellbinding, beautifully written creation. The words are woven together like a tapestry that recounts the light, dark, and all the shades in between of the entwined lives of three women and the people that impacted their lives. The humanness, flaws, and foibles of the characters make the story remarkably poignant.

This is a story with many layers. It is about friendship love and maternal love, not a story of sexual romantic love. The sexual activity is not the soul mate, sweet, ecstasy kind. One memorable element of friendship love is how much a friend gives to save her friends from the self-destructive path they are on—a path that would have stolen their self-respect and sentenced them to a bleak future. It also reveals the pure love of one man who reaches out to help others and reaps tragic rewards. Another layer shows greed and selfness corrupting and influencing lives and subtly changing the culture of an island.

Three college roommates come together for a summer ten years after graduating. They’ve led very different lives, yet still have a strong connection with each other. During their stay on Martha’s Vineyard, their lifelong beliefs are tested to the limit. Rich, drifting-along Dory, the bereft mother Charlotte, and the still-searching-for-meaning-in-her-life Turner have their lives forever changed by “the fisherman.”

The subtle foreshadowing, moments of humor, and the many “what-ifs” enrich this compelling story about the good, bad and the ugly of humanity. Strong women, unsavory antagonists, and a tangled plot all come together to hold the reader’s attention in a firm grip from start to finish.

To this reader, the names for many of the characters are so much more than just names. They fit the characters’ personalities. Tripp, Turner, Smoke, and others tell so much about these characters and the part they play in the intricate plot. I personally had some special names for the bishop and priest and the sheriff. As I’ve mentioned, the characters are flawed—some a LOT more than others.

Another interesting little aside, the numbers tattooed on Charlotte’s arm and the little red light that shined through the hedges at night are seemingly just mentioned in passing, but each of them give the story another little unique element

Michael Hurley is a superb storyteller. THE VINEYARD is an attention-keeping novel to be enjoyed more than once.

Comments

  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. What a lovely and thoughtful review! Thank you so much. I’m very glad you enjoyed the book. ~ Michael Hurley

  3. Great review, I can’t wait to read it.

  4. What an absolutely wonderful review. It makes me want to run right out and get this book.

  5. Sounds like a a fun story with many layers.

  6. Nice review

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